Good intentions and sensationalism compete for viewer interest in this filmization of Hanna Green’s novel about the tentative recovery of a psychotic young woman. Unfortunately, both lose. Good intentions resolve into highminded tedium.
The pic’s central problem is its structure. The girl (Kathleen Quinlan) is presented at the outset as a certifiable nutto teenager, being escorted by her parents (Lorraine Gary and Ben Piazza) to what appears to be a tastefully landscaped institution. An improved mental state is a certainty, otherwise there’s no film.
Quinlan is an untypical young actress, who lends freshness and admirable reserve to a role that could have lapsed entirely into histrionic hysterics.
1977: Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay