Limbo (1972)

PG | 111-112 mins | Drama | November 1972

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HISTORY

The entry for this unviewed film was compiled from reviews and publicity materials. Several reviews commented on the unfortunate timing of the film’s release, which was in limited distribution in Nov 1972, but received wide distribution in Jan 1973, just as the Paris Peace Accord cease-fire was implemented between North and South Vietnam, thus ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. According to the agreement, American troops and prisoners-of-war would be returning home within sixty-five days.
       According to Filmfacts , the film was bought by Universal Pictures and renamed Women in Limbo . Several reviewers of Limbo commented that the strong story of the difficulties faced by the wives of soldiers missing or killed in action would continue to be overlooked in the haste to put the unpopular, lost war in the past. Limbo was filmed in Florida and at the Ivan Tors Studios in Miami. The picture marked the feature film debut of Kate Jackson. Modern sources add Lillian Zucker to the ... More Less

The entry for this unviewed film was compiled from reviews and publicity materials. Several reviews commented on the unfortunate timing of the film’s release, which was in limited distribution in Nov 1972, but received wide distribution in Jan 1973, just as the Paris Peace Accord cease-fire was implemented between North and South Vietnam, thus ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. According to the agreement, American troops and prisoners-of-war would be returning home within sixty-five days.
       According to Filmfacts , the film was bought by Universal Pictures and renamed Women in Limbo . Several reviewers of Limbo commented that the strong story of the difficulties faced by the wives of soldiers missing or killed in action would continue to be overlooked in the haste to put the unpopular, lost war in the past. Limbo was filmed in Florida and at the Ivan Tors Studios in Miami. The picture marked the feature film debut of Kate Jackson. Modern sources add Lillian Zucker to the cast. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Nov 1972
p. 4541.
Daily Variety
19 Oct 1971.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jan 1973.
---
Filmfacts
1973
pp. 7-10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 1972
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 1972
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jul 1972.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 1972
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
28 Feb 1973
Section IV, p. 1, 15.
New York Times
27 Jan 1973
p. 17.
Variety
27 Oct 1971.
---
Variety
2 Feb 1972.
---
Variety
8 Nov 1972
p. 18.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Women in Limbo
Release Date:
November 1972
Production Date:
late February--late April 1972 in Florida and Ivan Tors Studios, Miami, FL
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures
Copyright Date:
10 November 1972
Copyright Number:
LP42745
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
111-112
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Florida, the wives of three soldiers declared missing or killed in the Vietnam War, Mary Kaye Buell, Sandy Lawton and Sharon Dornbeck, drive to the Miami airport to meet one returning husband, each woman reflecting on her personal past: Seven years earlier, Mary Kaye learns that her husband has gone missing in action and struggles to maintain a brave front for their four children, Joe, Kathy, Pete and Julie. Joe, the eldest, becomes hostile toward his mother, however, when he discovers that his father enlisted only after a bitter quarrel with Mary Kaye. Over time, the lonely Mary Kaye grows friendly with physical education teacher Phil Garrett and Joe grows increasingly bitter. Meanwhile, Sandy is married to Lt. Roy Lawton only two weeks before he is shipped out and soon after, he is declared missing. Feeling that she barely knew Roy, Sandy does not resist her attraction to Alan Webber, a former NASA computer programmer who has been laid off and forced to work as a gas station attendant. Eventually Sandy moves in with Alan although she continues to have mixed emotions about Roy’s situation. Married to a third generation Air Force soldier, Sharon remains diligently hopeful even after receiving a report that her husband has been killed in action. Drawn together by their common experience and desperate hopes to learn more about their husbands, Mary Kaye, Sandy and Sharon become friends and soon after fly to Paris to meet a North Vietnamese delegation at a peace conference. Instead of providing details about prisoners, however, delegate members show the wives a film of the atrocities committed by ... +


In Florida, the wives of three soldiers declared missing or killed in the Vietnam War, Mary Kaye Buell, Sandy Lawton and Sharon Dornbeck, drive to the Miami airport to meet one returning husband, each woman reflecting on her personal past: Seven years earlier, Mary Kaye learns that her husband has gone missing in action and struggles to maintain a brave front for their four children, Joe, Kathy, Pete and Julie. Joe, the eldest, becomes hostile toward his mother, however, when he discovers that his father enlisted only after a bitter quarrel with Mary Kaye. Over time, the lonely Mary Kaye grows friendly with physical education teacher Phil Garrett and Joe grows increasingly bitter. Meanwhile, Sandy is married to Lt. Roy Lawton only two weeks before he is shipped out and soon after, he is declared missing. Feeling that she barely knew Roy, Sandy does not resist her attraction to Alan Webber, a former NASA computer programmer who has been laid off and forced to work as a gas station attendant. Eventually Sandy moves in with Alan although she continues to have mixed emotions about Roy’s situation. Married to a third generation Air Force soldier, Sharon remains diligently hopeful even after receiving a report that her husband has been killed in action. Drawn together by their common experience and desperate hopes to learn more about their husbands, Mary Kaye, Sandy and Sharon become friends and soon after fly to Paris to meet a North Vietnamese delegation at a peace conference. Instead of providing details about prisoners, however, delegate members show the wives a film of the atrocities committed by American soldiers on Vietnamese citizens, including children. Later, when asked to appear before a House Armed Services Committee in Washington, D.C. Mary Kaye declares her staunch opposition to the war. When Sharon receives an eyewitness confirmation of her husband’s death, she comes close to a nervous breakdown. Soon after, Mary Kaye also learns that her husband has been killed, a tragedy which nevertheless brings her and young Joe back together. Receiving news that Roy is being released from a war prison, Sandy breaks off her relationship with Alan, but unable to tell him, asks Mary Kaye to break the news to him. As the women arrive at the Miami airport to meet Roy, Mary Kaye and Sharon watch as Sandy greets the weakened stranger that is her husband. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.