Customer Reviews: Family of Strangers
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on October 17, 2008
Julie (Melissa Gilbert) goes out to search for her birth mother due to her becoming ill and needs medical information. I will not give the details of the whole movie but has a very horrific past for Beth (Patty Duke) who plays the roll of the birth mother to Julie. This movie was very heart warming at the end , there was not a dry eye from me and kept me on the edge of my seat. Dont recall seeing this on television, I dont know how I missed it. Now I own it and was a great price on Amazon. Everyone needs to have their medical history information of birth father/mother because you just never know. Enjoy.
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on July 14, 2009
I watched this movie years ago on film when I was younger and I found this movie to be very emotional based on a true story. I will always know Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls but she does play great roles in movies like this one. It is a story of one woman's journey to finding her birth mother after she learns she is seriously ill and that she was adopted at birth. When she does find her birth mother played by Patty Duke she learns that she was given up for adoption because she was the product of rape. Her birth mother never knew who raped her that dark night long ago but she had kept a green button ripped from her attacker's jacket. In the end it reveals who the father of Melissa Glibert's character and it is a surprise. Very emotional but worth watching.
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VINE VOICEon October 12, 2008
I love Patty Duke, and this is a great performance by her. I remember watching this film when it first aired several years ago. I taped it and have watched it several times over the years. I am so glad it has arrived on DVD.

Ms. Duke and Ms. Gilbert are wonderful together, and this re-teaming of them is certainly worth the price. William Shatner, Eric McCormack, and Gordon Clapp all have roles in this movie too, but it is the chemistry of the two stars that really makes this something special.

The story is interesting and leaves the audience guessing. Even though I've seen it several times, it never gets old. Great performances definitely make it more memorable though.

If you are a fan of either of the leads, or if you just love great entertainment, this is definitely a DVD you should have in your collection.
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on May 24, 2011
Count me in as someone else who is glad this movie has made it to DVD. I taped it several years back as well and it really is a very underrated TV movie. Melissa Gilbert and Patty Duke always work very well together; they have a respect and ease with each other that comes off on screen. The film was shot on location in British Columbia and many Canadian actors are featured. It is also based on a true story from the book "Jody" written by Jerry Hulse. As I have not read it, I don't know what liberties were taken with it for this TV drama.

***Some Spoilers Herein***

Julie (Gilbert) is a young mother who is separated from her husband Sam (Eric McCormack, looking very young and sporting a believable American accent), and is living in Seattle with her daughter Megan (the late Ashleigh Aston Moore, who then went by Ashley Rogers) and her recently widowed father Earl (William Shatner).

One day while driving to work, Julie suffers a blockage in her brain and requires surgery, but she must find out if there is a history of strokes in her family. When she asks Earl for information on their family medical history, he reveals that she was adopted as an infant and he has no idea who her biological parents were. This sends Julie reeling and she sets out to discover her true parentage - after all, her life is at risk. A researcher, she discovers her birth mother came from Cloverton, British Columbia. When she tracks down Beth (Patty Duke), at first she meets with resistance and then a painful truth - Beth does not know the identity of Julie's father because she was raped. The women form a bond as they work together to uncover the rapist's identity - all Beth knows for certain is one of the boys who were in her circle of friends was the perpetrator, but as the rape occurred on a dark night following a homecoming dance in 1964, the pair must investigate and try to track the now grown men down. The identity of Julie's father and Beth's rapist is quite a surprise - at least it was to me. A few red herrings appear to throw the viewer off, making it even more shocking when the truth is revealed.

The film also features flashback sequences that recreate the mid-sixties quite well, and the director did the best to make it seem like it was shot on 8mm, and making the attack very frightening and the features of the rapist hard see clearly. The young actors do very well in their brief scenes although most bear little resemblance to their adult counterparts. It's also painful to watch as young Beth was made to feel dirty by her own mother, who refused to tell anyone (even Beth's father) about the rape and subsequent pregnancy, for which Beth was sent away to Seattle with the ruse that she was attending beauty school out of town when in fact she was waiting to give birth and was forced to give her baby up for adoption. Julie was taken from her right after she delivered and Duke's acting proves that her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress as a teenager was no fluke. The pain, grief, anger and vulnerability in Beth is just superbly portrayed, and Gilbert's Julie matches her.

Watching this is also a very moving experience. Julie's quest to find herself, and realize the love around her, and Beth's journey into healing and reuniting with the child she never had the chance to know.

Recommended, but keep the tissues handy.
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on October 4, 2008
I'm a fan of Melissa Gilbert and have seen this movie twice. Enjoyed it both times. This is a mystery that'll have you guessing throughout and it's fun to watch despite the horrific details involved. As a viewer you're practically Julie's companion in her journey to uncover the shocking secrets as described in the description of this film.

I don't have this movie but I might buy it someday. I'd enjoyed it so much that I had to submit the review for this film. I'd watch it again. Ms. Gilbert and Ms. Duke are great to watch.
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on November 17, 2013
This story is quite an adventure! An amazing set of coincidences come together to create quite a tension-filled & absorbing drama. This is definitely not a movie that you'll want to interrupt & continue later. Of course, I've found that ANY movie with Patty Duke is great; she's one of the best there is for this type of role.
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on September 18, 2013
Patty Duke is a favorite of mine, She deserves more than a mention, through what she's been through in her life !
Also, the song, Hey ! Paula, is in the film. I sang with the songwriter, Ray Hildebrand, which was Paul, of Paul & Paula,in a record album,back in the 80's.
I really enjoyed this movie.
Thank You,
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on March 31, 2012
Great Patty Duke film of mother and daughter discovering their way back to each other. Fans of Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert will appreciate their fine work as always. Based on a true story and I love it.
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on February 10, 2011
I saw this movie on TV a few years ago and never forgot. I was doing a search on for Melissa Gilbert movies and found this. Immediately ordered it and was not disappointed. She and Patti Duke work well together (shades of "The Miracle Worker") telling this story. Such a sweet, believable story; one I will watch over and over.
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on April 21, 2013
I saw this movie a number of years ago on TV and wanted a copy so I could watch it again. This was the first time I saw it available anywhere. With Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert, the characters are believable. I don't want to say much about the actual movie or I'll ruin it for you. Let's just say there is a bit of a mystery to it.
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