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Love, Mary
Love, Mary (1985)
  • Director:
    Robert Day
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Clifford Campion
  • Cast:
    Kristy McNichol,Matt Clark,David Paymer
  • Time:
  • Year:
A teen (Kristy McNichol), who is always in trouble in school and has been sent to reform school, turns her life around when a counselor (Rachel Ticotin) discovers she is dyslexic.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristy McNichol Kristy McNichol - Mary Groda-Lewis
Matt Clark Matt Clark - Fennie Groda
David Paymer David Paymer - David Lewis
Rachel Ticotin Rachel Ticotin - Rachel Martin
Piper Laurie Piper Laurie - Christine Groda
Leslie Wing Leslie Wing - Jill
Wayne Robson Wayne Robson - Dr. Sitton
Dorothy Dells Dorothy Dells - Beatrice Symes
David Sage David Sage - Dr. Miller
Romy Windsor Romy Windsor - Jeanine
Lycia Naff Lycia Naff - Delia
David Faustino David Faustino - Christopher
Sarah Partridge Sarah Partridge - Barbara
Ron Recasner Ron Recasner - Bernard Fuller
Tamu Blackwell Tamu Blackwell - Eugenia

Love, Mary (1985)

This was the fifth and final TV movie Kristy McNichol made for CBS under a deal her mother negotiated in 1977: five films for a total sum of $1,000,000. The others were "Summer Of My German Soldier" (1978), "Like Mom, Like Me" (1978), "My Old Man (1979), and "Blinded By the Light" (1980).

headed by Art Pearl and the University of Oregon, I think. The film is in part a celebration of the success of the program in demonstrating the academic capability of low-status, "at-risk" students. It was made during a time of conservative attacks on such programs, and in this regard it was an important film.

It's easy to see why a teacher would choose this film for a high school class, especially if she wants students to examine the mantras of (educational) hierarchy intoned endlessly by right-wing populists. Sadly, the film remains relevant in 2007. Students like Mary are clearly ill-served by the rigid, standardized testing regimes prescribed by legislation like Bush's No Child Left Behind.
FOr those who have never seen this movie, I want to say that this movie changed my life. I was trying to figure out if I should go back to college or not. I was married, had 3 kids and was 30+ years old. After watching this movie, I realized that I would turn 40 anyway, which is a comment Mary's mother makes to her when she says she is "too old" to go back to college after her stroke. Her mother replies, "I thought I was too old to consider becoming a doctor. You know what? I turned 40 anyway." So there are deeper messages in this movie if you CHOOSE to look for them. I teach High School theology and wish I had a copy of this to show my students! But it is up to the VIEWER to find the messages here and there are many. By the way, I not only got my Bachelor's degree in MUSIC, which is difficult enough, I also earned my MASTER'S in Theology. ANd I'll turn 50 this year. SO I could have been 50 with a nowhere job, or 50 with a Master's looking to earn a Phd. all because of some "lousy" movie as you call it. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it - no matter what obstacles try to get in your way!
..... she was my doctor for years! I never saw this, but was just informed of this fact (by an MA who worked with her- I am now in the process of hunting this movie down!). She was (is) an amazing person who never used any problem or diagnosis for an excuse- this doctor would be triple-booked and sill manage to see all her patients in the time her counterparts took to see patients in a "normal" schedule! She retired and moved back 'home' this past summer (2007) and I can tell you, from myself and my husband, she is one of a kind and sorely missed! Dr. Mary, if you read this- Chris and Crystal send their love and miss you lots! :)
I realize that the film is based on a book and a true story. This lady was always one tough cookie as portrayed by actress Kristy McNichol. Boy did she overcome the barriers. She was always independent and strong. She was always noble and fair with her kids. Her husband in the film was portrayed by actor David Paymer. I'm guessing that he and I both are xxy males. Thus, I'm guessing that the husband in the film was one as well. The husband in the film was perfect for this woman and really backed her up. I guess she figured he was someone she could handle. Still, to take this guy was noble on her part, I think. Given this, I am also curious about the history of the husband. David Paymer is a role model of mine. I like this lady doctor, her kids, and her husband. I like what they are about. I would like to contact them. I still have yet to read the book. Anyway, what an amazing story, what an amazing film. Way back in 1985 and still on my mind.

Kristy McNichol plays real-life Mary Groda-Lewis, who spent four years as a troubled teenager in reform school in the 1960s before being diagnosed with dyslexia, showing a flair for literature and chosen to participate in the Upward Bound program, giving delinquent kids a taste of college life. TV-movie covers many years of our heroine's life, following her on an arduous journey from drop-out to motherhood to stroke victim to wife to medical student. Unfortunately, Clifford Campion's teleplay is overstuffed with melodrama, which makes the first 30 minutes of the film exhausting to wade through. Director Robert Day isn't able to capture the look of the era due to the financial constraints of the medium, and his overall handling of the material is gummy and warm (with a determined tug at the heartstrings), but McNichol gives a forthright performance.
I was forced to watch this movie for my LifeStyles Theology class, and if nothing else, it amused me. I'm sure there was a good message behind it all but some parts were so unintentionally funny... There are too many random things happening in this movie. They go to commercial, come back and she has a baby! And then she's pregnant again, with no explanation as to who the father is. After being forced to use a walker after complications during childbirth, she miraculously just throws it down and walks away. Her father makes the comment, "Wow, you did that left handed." They never really explained why she got into so much trouble when she was younger. All that we learn is that she has dyslexia and her family was poor, which apparently led to stealing cars. She and David, her love interest, break up for no apparent reason, and then, what do you know? Next scene, it says "One Year Later", he's at the door and pours rice on her head. They get married. Had they been dating this whole time? Was that a single fight and then they made up? I don't know... Too many unanswered questions. If this was based on a real woman, kudos to her for surviving through the drama that was her life but the movie did her no justice.