In the Best Interest of the Child
|In the Best Interest of the Child|
|Written by||Hal Sitowitz|
|Directed by||David Greene|
Ed Begley Jr.
|Music by||Peter Manning Robinson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||James G. Hirsch|
Sandy Papazian (associate producer)
|Production location(s)||Los Angeles|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Papazian-Hirsch Entertainment|
|Original release||May 20, 1990|
In the Best Interest of the Child is a 1990 American made-for-television drama film about child sexual abuse starring Meg Tilly, Ed Begley Jr., Michael O'Keefe and Michele Greene, directed by David Greene. It was originally broadcast on CBS on May 20, 1990.
Jennifer Colton (Meg Tilly) is a divorced mother and architect who retains custody of her five-year-old daughter Mandy (Marta Woodward) while her ex-husband Walt (Michael O'Keefe) is granted regular access. However, Jennifer becomes concerned by her daughter's restless sleeping and increasingly violent behaviors and is horrified to discover it might be related to sexual abuse by the child's father. With the help of her attorney-cousin Howard Feldon (Ed Begley Jr.), next-door neighbor and best friend Nora (Michele Greene), as well as various doctors and therapists, Jennifer seeks to protect her daughter from Walt by having his access suspended.
Jennifer soon discovers that the law is not on her side when the court, in the absence of incontrovertible evidence, refuses to restrict Walt's unsupervised-visitation rights. When Jennifer refuses to let her ex-husband see the child, the judge finds her in contempt and places her in a county jail until she relents. Ultimately, Jennifer decides the only way to save Mandy from abuse is to "kidnap" the child. She is willing to go to prison so that Mandy can live in hiding with her relatives and away from her abusive father.
- Meg Tilly as Jennifer Colton
- Ed Begley Jr. as Howard Feldon
- Michael O'Keefe as Walt Colton
- Michele Greene as Nora
- Marta Woodward as Mandy Colton
- David Wohl as Judge Dunham
- James Eckhouse as Chilton
- Jim Byrnes as Kurt
- Angela Bassett as Lori
- Peter Hansen as Dr. Innes
|1991||Young Artist Award||Best Young Actress Starring in a TV Movie, Pilot, or Special||Marta Woodward||Nominated|
- Picks and Pans Review: In the Best Interest of the Child by People magazine (May 21, 1990).
- New York Magazine (May 21, 1990).
- Zurawik, David. TV Review (The Pittsburgh Press, May 19, 1990, p.15)
- In the Best Interest of the Child on IMDb
- In the Best Interest of the Child at the TCM Movie Database
- In the Best Interest of the Child at AllMovie
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