28 December 2006 | catherine-71
Unusual, interesting, under-rated
This is a very low-budget social drama of the type familiar to modern audiences as a "tv drama" -- that is, a short, sincere look at a serious social problem, dramatised through the lives of a small number of people. The story is simple: a young female law student gives her child up for adoption and must live with the consequences, as must the girl, who, when she finds out that she was adopted, runs wild and enters into unsavoury company. The past has repercussions on the present, and in the end the young law student, now a kindly family court judge, must face her own past if she is to continue to serve the troubled teens to whom she has dedicated her career. Despite the motherhood-loss issues, this movie is not a tear-jerker like "Stella Dallas" or "Madame X," to which easy comparisons could be made, and in many ways it is more progressive and more satisfying than those famous films. The acting is top-notch, the premise is strong, and the resolution is surprisingly low-key and realistic. The only fault i can find with the print i saw (from alpha video) is that it is a noisy print lacking the title credits -- which is why i had to come here to get the full credits. Kudos to Helen MacKellar as Judge Ellis, to Sybil Harris as Kathryn Caldwell, and to Marge Champion as the teen dancer leading the Big Apple number and also the "dance director" for the teen party scene.