Man, Woman and Child is a sweetly dramatic picture which, unfortunately, reaches so hard for sobs at the end that all logic is suspended.
Despite the problems in the screenplay adaptation of Erich’s Segal’s novel by Segal and David Z. Goodman, there are still some fine performances here, tautly directed.
Martin Sheen is superb as a happily married husband of Blythe Danner and father of Arlene McIntyre and Missy Francis. But trouble arrives with news that a brief fling of the past in France (seen in flashback with Nathalie Nell) has caused a problem for the present.
Nell has been killed in an accident, leaving a son by Sheen that he never knew about. For Sheen, the only decent thing to do is confess all to Danner and invite the boy to the US for a get-acquainted visit.
Danner is also excellent in her hurt reaction, torn between love for her husband and resentment of the young intruder. Young Sebastian Dungan is a real discovery.
But Man, Woman concludes with one of those annoying film situations where the characters have several choices of what to do and select the one that makes the least sense.