Right of Way (1983)

TV Movie   |    |  Drama

Right of Way (1983) Poster

A dying woman and her husband agree to a joint-suicide pact, whether others like it or not.

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  • John Harkins in Right of Way (1983)
  • Melinda Dillon in Right of Way (1983)
  • Bette Davis in Right of Way (1983)
  • Bette Davis in Right of Way (1983)
  • Priscilla Morrill in Right of Way (1983)
  • Bette Davis and James Stewart in Right of Way (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

5 January 2016 | MartinHafer
| A plot guaranteed to make many folks uncomfortable!
The topic of the right to die is an important topic and one that should be discussed openly and in an adult manner. I am happy that this film was made as it brings the topic out in the open. But I also wish the film had been made better--especially since two great elderly actors were in the leads, Jimmy Stewart and Bette Davis.

The film begins with Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer (Stewart and Davis) telling their daughter, Ruda (Melinda Dillon) that they planned on killing themselves. Mrs. Dwyer is seriously ill and when she dies, her husband simply doesn't want to go on without her and they have a joint suicide pact. I have no idea WHY they told the daughter...and assume many elderly folks DON'T tell others and simply do the deed without alerting anyone. Because they told their daughter, she involves some one-dimensional idiots from the county to get involved. This is a HUGE problem with the film, as the social worker was written very poorly as was the guy who just broke into their home (illegally, by the way). This tended to hurt the impact of the film as it took a realistic situation and made it less realistic. Additionally, with their decision coming out just after the film begins, it doesn't create a sense of tension or realism there as well and it makes the film drag a bit towards the end. What does work well are the conversation the mother and daughter have late in the film, as it seems much more realistic and thoughtfully written than much of the rest of the movie. Overall, it's an important topic but somewhat indifferently handled. It's worth seeing but should have been better.

By the way, I was surprised by Melinda Dillon in the film. She's a pretty lady but here they deliberately made her up to look older and less pretty. It fit the part and I understand why they did it...but wonder how Dillon felt about this.

Critic Reviews

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