A Will of Their Own

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A Will of Their Own
Written by Susan Nanus
Susan Shreve
Lynn Roth
Directed by Karen Arthur
Starring Lea Thompson
Ellen Burstyn
Faye Dunaway
Thomas Gibson
Theme music composer David Michael Frank
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 2
Producer(s) Elliot Friedgen
Susan Nanus
Cinematography Tom Neuwirth
Editor(s) Tina Hirsch
Running time 225 minutes
Distributor NBC
Original release
  • October 18, 1998 (1998-10-18)

A Will of their Own is a 1998 American television mini-series directed by Karen Arthur. The film follows six generations of females within one family, and their struggle for power and independence in America. The film debuted on October 18, 1998 on the NBC network to strong critical reviews. It was released to DVD late 2003.


The film begins in the 1890s and ends in the 1980s.

Annie Jermaine (Aylesworth) immigrates from Europe to America where she becomes a housemaid for a wealthy doctor. She breaks class restrictions when she marries the doctor's son and begins training as a nurse. However, she is unable to utilize her knowledge due to the popular belief that women were not capable of practicing medicine.

Amanda Steward (Thompson) is a young woman who aspires to become a photographer but is turned down because she is a woman. She goes through life in trying to help women and make them stronger.

Sarah (Jefferson) faces difficulties being the wife of a powerful U.S. senator.

Susan (Ross) is a hippie who becomes a doctor and later opens up a health clinic for battered women.

Jesse (Braga) is a farm worker who walked the fields of the San Joaquin Valle for nearly half a century. She is the first female organizer for the United Farm Workers. Seeing those around her struggle and sometimes die because of poor living and working conditions, she wanted to help and joined Caesar Chavez to make a change.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Motion Picture Sound Editors

  • Nominated, "Best Sound Editing - Television Mini-Series - Dialogue & ADR unknown"
  • Nominated, "Best Sound Editing - Television Mini-Series - Music unknown"


External links[edit]