The Promise of Love

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Not to be confused with the song by Delegation (band).
The Promise of Love
The promise of love print ad 1980.jpg
Print advertisement
Written by Harry Longstreet
Renee Longstreet
Carol Saraceno
Directed by Don Taylor
Starring Valerie Bertinelli
Shelley Long
Craig T. Nelson
Music by Paul Chihara
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Jay Benson
Cinematography Donald H. Birnkrant
Editor(s) Anthony DiMarco
Running time 96 minutes
Original network CBS
Original release November 11, 1980

The Promise of Love is a 1980 television film directed by Don Taylor. The film was originally titled Personal Effects.[1]


Starting in 1967 Oceanside, Kathy Wakeman is a high school senior who, soon after graduation, marries her sweetheart, a Marine named Chuck Wakemore. Their lives as newlyweds is short-lived, as he is ordered to serve in Vietnam. During his absence, she spends her time at the local recreation center and befriends her neighbor Lorraine Simpson, a mother whose husband is also away to fight in the war. When Kathy is informed that her husband has been killed, she is devastated and loses all lust for life. Her parents notice that she is unable to deal with his death and she joins a war widow support program. Her parents want her to move back to their house, but she refuses to.

At the urging of her family and friends, Kathy tries to adjust to normal life again, but she has trouble hiding the fact that she still feels lost. She is ordered to leave the apartment she lived in with her late husband, because they are meant for Marine Corps families only. She reluctantly packs to leave the only place that reminds her of Chuck and seeks refuge at the local swimming pool. There, she is noticed by Sam Daniels, the owner of the recreation center who was just closing up. Knowing about her past, he assumes that she is trying to commit suicide, despite her claims that she wasn't. Sympathizing with her, he offers Kathy a job as a swimming instructor. Although it doesn't pay well, she accepts the job.

When she tells her parents, they react enthusiastically, until she reveals that she is moving in with Lorraine, thereby not returning home. At the pool, she impresses the staff and is promoted to being a life guard. She soon becomes happier and grows closer to Sam. One evening, they get drunk and kiss. This makes her feel guilty, thinking she is somehow cheating on Chuck, who has been dead for only four months. She contacts a psychologist, who helps her to move on with her life. Before spending the night with him, Kathy admits to Sam that she only feels happy when she is around him. The next morning, she realizes that she isn't ready for a relationship. and turns back to her parents. She apologizes to them for her behavior, but tells them that they can't feel sorry for her. In the end, she leaves town to build up a life another place.



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