Love Child (1982)

R | 96 mins | Drama | 15 October 1982

Director:

Larry Peerce

Producer:

Paul Maslansky

Cinematographer:

James Pergola

Editor:

Robert Wyman

Production Designer:

Don K. Ivey

Production Company:

The Ladd Company
Full page view
HISTORY

The opening title card is followed by the statement: “a true story.” Opening credits are superimposed over a black background accompanied by voice-over narration from Amy Madigan’s character, “Terry Jean Moore.” The voice-over narration resumes at the end of the film, played over a freeze-frame image of Terry crying and embracing her fellow inmates after winning her court case.
End credits include the following acknowledgements: “ Blackstar animated sequence courtesy of Filmation Studios; Ryan’s Hope sequence courtesy of ABC Television and Labine-Mayer Productions, Inc.,” and, “We would like to thank the following for their cooperation: the Florida Motion Picture and T. V. Office, Ben Harris – Director; the Florida Department of Corrections; Louie L. Wainwright – Director; Superintendent of Broward Correctional Institute Robert Bohler; and the Correctional Officers and Inmates of Broward County Correctional Institute Broward County, Florida.”
       According to a 5 Nov 1982 LAHExam article, after returning from a trip overseas, producer Paul Maslansky was alerted to an Aug 1979 60 Minutes (CBS, 24 Sep 1968— ) television news segment about Terry Jean Moore by Moore’s attorney, with whom Maslansky had previously worked during the production of the 1978 television miniseries King. After viewing the program, Maslansky approached CBS broadcasting company about turning the story into a $1.2—1.8 million television film. Upon hearing that his associates at The Ladd Company were interested in the project, however, Maslansky agreed to develop Love Child as a theatrical release. Despite the 4 Aug 1982 Var report that estimated the budget at $4 million, the 25 Oct 1982 DV and LAHExam stated that the $3.3 ... More Less

The opening title card is followed by the statement: “a true story.” Opening credits are superimposed over a black background accompanied by voice-over narration from Amy Madigan’s character, “Terry Jean Moore.” The voice-over narration resumes at the end of the film, played over a freeze-frame image of Terry crying and embracing her fellow inmates after winning her court case.
End credits include the following acknowledgements: “ Blackstar animated sequence courtesy of Filmation Studios; Ryan’s Hope sequence courtesy of ABC Television and Labine-Mayer Productions, Inc.,” and, “We would like to thank the following for their cooperation: the Florida Motion Picture and T. V. Office, Ben Harris – Director; the Florida Department of Corrections; Louie L. Wainwright – Director; Superintendent of Broward Correctional Institute Robert Bohler; and the Correctional Officers and Inmates of Broward County Correctional Institute Broward County, Florida.”
       According to a 5 Nov 1982 LAHExam article, after returning from a trip overseas, producer Paul Maslansky was alerted to an Aug 1979 60 Minutes (CBS, 24 Sep 1968— ) television news segment about Terry Jean Moore by Moore’s attorney, with whom Maslansky had previously worked during the production of the 1978 television miniseries King. After viewing the program, Maslansky approached CBS broadcasting company about turning the story into a $1.2—1.8 million television film. Upon hearing that his associates at The Ladd Company were interested in the project, however, Maslansky agreed to develop Love Child as a theatrical release. Despite the 4 Aug 1982 Var report that estimated the budget at $4 million, the 25 Oct 1982 DV and LAHExam stated that the $3.3 million cost and thirty-five day, five-day-per-week shooting schedule made Love Child The Ladd Company’s first “modest-budget” feature among the entertainment industry’s growing number of big-budget projects. As a result, filmmakers decided against casting a costlier, more established actress for the lead role. “Above-the-line” costs for the story, director, producer, screenwriter, and principal actors totaled $1 million, with an additional $300,000 budgeted for post production. Moore was guaranteed $100,000 earnings over the course of several years to help pay for her daughter’s education, while the other actors were paid “scale plus ten percent.” Production notes in AMPAS library files stated that Maslansky hired director Larry Peerce after screening his 1975 film, The Other Side of the Mountain (see entry), and Peerce helped complete the final script with debut screenwriter Katherine Specktor, although he is not credited onscreen as a writer.
       Following the 2 Nov 1981 HR announcment that the picture marked the theatrically released feature film debut of singer Amy Madigan as Terry Jean Moore, 13 Nov 1982 HR production charts confirmed the start of principal photography on 9 Nov 1981.
       Production notes indicated that the film was shot entirely on location in Broward County, FL, at locations including the actual Broward Correctional Institution where Moore was detained. Despite Moore’s initial hesitation about the project, Maslansky convinced her that he would tell the story as truthfully as possible, and asked her to serve as a “technical advisor” throughout shooting. However, Moore was reportedly unable to oversee filming for the twelve production days at the Broward County Institution, since she was still barred from returning to the premises during her seven-and-a-half year probation. Other prison and courtroom scenes were filmed in a warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and a jail and courthouse in West Palm Beach, FL. A 25 Oct 1982 DV article claimed that by hiring a crew comprised almost entirely of FL residents, the production brought $2 million to the local economy and prompted the creation of a Broward County film commission. The 2 Jul 1982 HR stated that Peerce completed principal photography three days early and well under the allotted budget.
       A 6 Oct 1982 Var brief reported that Love Child was scheduled for a 15 Oct 1982 New York City release at the Cinema 5 Beekman Theater. According to DV, the film also opened at six theaters in four FL cities, and was simultaneously being tested in Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR. Depending on the success of these screenings, The Ladd Company planned to expand the picture to other cities around the country. According to LAHExam, Love Child opened 10 Nov 1982 in twenty-two Los Angeles, CA, theaters, with a new advertising campaign, since its was believed that the former artwork was misleading about both the plot and tone of the movie.
       Along with poor box-office returns in New York City, the film earned largely negative reviews from critics, who likened its quality to that of a television movie. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 Oct 1982
p. 1, 15.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Oct 1982
p. 3, 10.
LAHExam
5 Nov 1982
Section D, p. 1, 6.
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1982
p. 8.
New York Times
15 Oct 1982
p. 15.
Variety
4 Aug 1982.
---
Variety
6 Oct 1982.
---
Variety
13 Oct 1982
p. 14, 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Paul Maslansky Production
A Larry Peerce Film
A Ladd Company Release Thru Warner Bros - A Warner Communications Company
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy
Key grip
Best boy
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Supv ed
SET DECORATORS
Leadman
Const coord
Prop master
Prop asst
Scenic artist
Set painter
Carpenter foreman
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Scoring mixer
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Post prod sd by
ADR supv
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Craft service
Craft service
Local casting
Loc mgr
Prod coord
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Prod secy
Film coord
Florida trainee
Florida trainee
Local contact
Prod office asst
Nurse
Asst to Mr. Peerce
Asst to the prod
Broward County liaison
Tech adv
STAND INS
Stunt double
Stunt double
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing
SOURCES
SONGS
"Something More," music by Charles Fox, lyrics by Carly Simon, performed by Carly Simon
"Walking In The Rain," performed by Grace Jones, courtesy of Island Records.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Love Child: A True Story
Release Date:
15 October 1982
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 October 1982
Los Angeles opening: 10 November 1982
Production Date:
9 November 1981--late June 1982 in Fort Lauderdale, FL and West Palm Beach, FL
Copyright Claimant:
The Ladd Company
Copyright Date:
2 March 1983
Copyright Number:
PA168445
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26530
SYNOPSIS

Following her parents’ divorce and nomadic childhood, twenty-one-year-old Terry Jean Moore moves to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Orlando, Florida, with her underage cousin, Jesse Chaney. While hitchhiking out of Orlando on 12 August 1977, Jesse points a gun at the driver and instructs Terry to take the wheel, but she claims she cannot drive a manual transmission stick shift vehicle. As they argue, the driver escapes with the keys, and the pair is later arrested outside a convenience store. With Jesse locked in a juvenile probation center, Terry is charged with armed robbery. Despite her clean record and her argument that she never touched the gun, the unforgiving judge sentences her to fifteen years in state prison, with the possibility of seven years’ parole. When the other inmates burn Terry’s books, the guards see her standing over the flames and confine her to a solitary cell. Losing her temper, she uses a cigarette to set fire to her bed linens, an action for which she is sent to the Broward County Correctional Institute for an additional five years. There, Terry is instantly derided by the other prisoners, earning the nickname “Prom Queen.” A violent brawl with a nosy cellmate prompts a verbal disciplining from the sympathetic Officer Jack Hansen, who playfully insists he will break her neck if she continues to misbehave. Eventually, Terry strikes up a friendship with a lesbian named J. J., but one day, an aggressive woman named Mara threatens her with a blade. Although witnesses defend Terry, prison administrator Capt. Mark Ellis punishes her with fifteen days of solitary confinement. After 200 days of incarceration, Jack and Terry’s discreet flirtation develops into a clandestine affair. ... +


Following her parents’ divorce and nomadic childhood, twenty-one-year-old Terry Jean Moore moves to New Orleans, Louisiana, and Orlando, Florida, with her underage cousin, Jesse Chaney. While hitchhiking out of Orlando on 12 August 1977, Jesse points a gun at the driver and instructs Terry to take the wheel, but she claims she cannot drive a manual transmission stick shift vehicle. As they argue, the driver escapes with the keys, and the pair is later arrested outside a convenience store. With Jesse locked in a juvenile probation center, Terry is charged with armed robbery. Despite her clean record and her argument that she never touched the gun, the unforgiving judge sentences her to fifteen years in state prison, with the possibility of seven years’ parole. When the other inmates burn Terry’s books, the guards see her standing over the flames and confine her to a solitary cell. Losing her temper, she uses a cigarette to set fire to her bed linens, an action for which she is sent to the Broward County Correctional Institute for an additional five years. There, Terry is instantly derided by the other prisoners, earning the nickname “Prom Queen.” A violent brawl with a nosy cellmate prompts a verbal disciplining from the sympathetic Officer Jack Hansen, who playfully insists he will break her neck if she continues to misbehave. Eventually, Terry strikes up a friendship with a lesbian named J. J., but one day, an aggressive woman named Mara threatens her with a blade. Although witnesses defend Terry, prison administrator Capt. Mark Ellis punishes her with fifteen days of solitary confinement. After 200 days of incarceration, Jack and Terry’s discreet flirtation develops into a clandestine affair. Meanwhile, Terry is assigned to work in the library alongside June Burns, who immediately notices Terry’s strange relationship with the officer. Following a tryst in the warehouse, Terry wistfully imagines her life with Jack outside of prison, and he promises to find a lawyer to help shorten her sentence. A few months later, with legal proceedings underway, Terry jubilantly informs Jack that she is pregnant. Although she is confident that she will be released before anyone finds out, Jack worriedly returns home to his wife and two children. As the officers begin hearing rumors of Terry’s condition, J. J. and June Burns attempt to convince her to have an abortion, but she stubbornly refuses. Suspicious, Capt. Ellis adjusts Jack’s patrol so that he remains distanced from Terry. When Mara reveals that Jack is married, a distraught Terry confronts him across a fence, but he insists that telling her the truth would not have made a difference in their situation. Later, she cries in J. J.’s arms and begs June to help her conceal her pregnancy from the prison superintendent, Mrs. Helen Sturgis, who locks her in “medical confinement” until she agrees to take a pregnancy test. One day, Capt. Ellis informs Terry that Hansen has quit his job. A month into Terry’s isolation, June reads about a law that she believes will help Terry, so the expectant mother writes a letter to a civil lawyer named Jacki Steinberg. Aware that she is now five months pregnant and therefore can no longer be forced into having an abortion, Terry finally admits to her pregnancy. According to a particular statute in the Florida state law, she stipulates that she has the right to keep her child with her in the institution for eighteen months. When Jacki takes Terry’s case to court, Mrs. Sturgis contests that the prison facility is unsuitable for raising a child, but Terry gives an emotional statement, claiming that the baby has changed her character by giving her a sense of responsibility. Honoring the right of the unborn child to be with its mother, the judge rules in favor of Terry, and she eventually gives birth to a baby girl named Precious. In 1979, she and the infant are paroled and Terry serves the remainder of her probation in Orlando. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.