A woman (Stephanie Zimbalist, "Remington Steele"), presumed dead for many years, returns to her family shortly before a large inheritance is due. While she certainly seems to be the missing woman, there are doubts about her identity among those who knew her.
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I love Stephanie Zimbalist in every movie I have ever watched. Loved her in Remington Steele. This movie starts with a mystery that introduces the viewer to CAROLINE: The supposed dead daughter gone about 14 years. From the beginning the movie takes on a darker, suspicious tone. As the story evolves we see Caroline in many different ways but soon, she emerges as an advocate for the character Heidi: Her handicapped younger sibling. The story takes a surprising turn as the truth is revealed but no less interesting as we see the story in a different view. If the viewer wants to see and be inspired, concerning handicapped children, they will enjoy the movie. It starts out one way then goes another. To me this movie was a true study of human behavior and would make a good film for a Sociology or Psychology student. It could well be a family movie especially one that has dealt with handicapped children. While not a true story, it well could be as many of us know that handicapped children were often institutionalized, killed or hidden from society. Today we are surrounded by victorious, highly intelligent handicapped people who have left and are leaving, our society a better place than before they were born. And if you have seen the movie or been blessed to be involved in the life of a handicapped person, thank Jesus. Because of him, we can see better today and value all people as He did when he walked the earth. Devalue no one! Great movie. Loved every minute except the cringe worthy ones by the mother. All of the Actors and Actresses did a great job. Very believable as if I were in the room. To me, that is what makes a great movie and a wonderful story. One that educates me and encourages me. Be Blessed! :)
It was great to see how a person's life can be changed(in this case a young, handicapped girl) by one person that see, potential where other;s see only limitations. Someone returning "from the dead" after 14 years is not all that unusual as a plot. It's been done many times so we know we have to figure out if the new comer is who she says she is and what is her motive for returning. I found it hard to believe that she just decided to walk away from her life and change her identity. She says she had the money that she needed. Really, she just carried enough money around with her to end up in India? Wow, I'm going to go thru my purse and see what I have. At any rate, she makes her appearance and has to convince her father and his new wife that she is the long lost Caroline. The father wanted to believe, wife #2 not so much. She makes sure a private detective is on the case post haste. In the end Caroline is welcomed back into the family. But we still aren't quite sure what is going on, Is she really Caroline. It takes a while to find out the truth and see what happens to the family. Wife #2 has produced two kids. One of them is handicapped. Can Caroline help? Will the girl's mother let her be helped. Will Caroline take a large inheritance that she just received and "just walk away" again? Was I on the edge of my seat? NO. As I said at the beginning of my review, the acting was not great and I was constantly trying to figure out when the whole thing took place. One last thing, you may wonder somewhere during the movie what the "mask dance" at the beginning of the movie had to do with anything. You'll have to wait for the final scene to how it ties in. It's subtle is all I can say.
Stephanie Zimbalist makes a fine Caroline. Or is she Caroline? You have to watch to find out.
What could be a flat-out mystery of identity is really a story of selfless kindness. At one point, the viewer has to empathize with the mother of child who may be different. The mother not only loves her children fiercely but she feels tremendous guilt. I disagree that the mother feels great shame. Perhaps the child, now an adult, will realize that herself, and be less harsh a judge of her mother.
Then: what am I saying? This is a drama. These are not real-life people showing us their conflicts. What makes this film strong is that the conflicts are there in many families and we can all identify with the different characters,. It's tempting to think this family lives in a universe that we observe and now they go on living their lives with the greatest problems solved or have solutions in progress.
A plane crash...a missing daughter...fourteen years later, a woman claiming to be that person appears. Coincidentally, she is in the nick question of time to collect an inheritance, left to her by her supposed grandmother. The only question is whether she is who she says she is.
Her father believes her to be his daughter. His second wife, by whom he has two more children, doubts it. Therein lies the million dollar question. The two children, who have issues, are in sore need of an older sister, who can put their mother in check, as, without meaning to, she is ruining their lives and circumscribing their futures.
This is the story of that mysterious reappearance and what it is really all about. It is a relatively entertaining tv movie with a decent cast.
I was stunned at good this story was. It was written with all of the best qualities of a Gothic Victorian novel ... the "evil" Stepmother, the hidden shame, the disadvantaged children ready to blossom. I was really not expecting that at all. Everyone was great, from Stephanie Zimbalist, to Patricia Neal, to the extraordinary cameo appearance of Dorothy McGuire and - of course - the great performances of Pamela Reed, George Grizzard and Jenny Jacobs. Just great!
So I previously watched this movie called A Wife's Nightmare. So I was certain I had this Caroline movie figured out. I just KNEW that this mysterious woman that showed up at the doorstep of this family, claiming to be the long lost daughter of the husband, was actually his mistress. And since his first wife died "under suspicious circumstances" that he intended to kill his second wife and marry the mistress. Yea, I was wrong. This is a really good movie and it's interesting trying to figure out who this woman is and her true motives. The movie really does wait until the very end to answer that question though.
This movie is among the Hallmark movies that we've really enjoyed. Good acting, a mystery revealed and solved, well worth watching. We found this on Amazon in a video format. Perhaps by now it's in a DVD. On the whole, we find Hallmark movies family friendly with good messages supporting good values. This is one of those movies.