A Cry For Help: The Tracey Thurman Story

Year: 1989
Production Co: UTL Productions
Director: Robert Markowitz
Cast: Nancy McKeown, Dale Midkiff, Bruce Weitz, Philip Baker Hall
I watched this by chance on TV one night and it's the perfect exhibit A to represent the made-for-TV dramas of the 1980s, all with heartbreaking stories of adversity and starring third or fourth tier Hollywood actresses, has beens and TV stars (Joanna Kearns from Who's the Boss and Meredith Baxter Birney from Family Ties were two devotees to the genre).

Ex Mrs Michael J Fox Nancy McKeown plays a lovely American girl who meets a nice man (Midkiff, who played Elvis in the iconic biopic Elvis and Me) who turns dark. It's a wife-beating story with a difference; during his last beating he kicked the crap out of her, which included smashing his foot down on her head.

When Thurman emerges from a coma and in traction, her lawyer (Weitz, Belker from Hill Street Blues) encourages her to sue the police force thanks to the idiotic copper who stood by and did nothing while witnessing the bashing.

It's all very emotive and traumatic, in a late 80s, emotionally obtuse way.

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