» » A Child's Cry for Help (1994)

Short summary

A recently widowed doctor moves with her daughter to start at a new hospital. While there a loving mother brings her son in for treatment. The doctor suspects that there is something wrong, and theorizes that the mother is deliberately making her son sick so that she could bring him to the hospital for the attention that it gives her. When the doctor decides to restrict the mother's access to her son and is reporting her to child services, the mother in turn decides to sue the doctor and the hospital. And some of the hospital board don't agree with her diagnosis or think that she's over-reacting. And even while the mother's not allowed access to her son, he is still sick, so is the doctor right or wrong?

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Vutaur
    This movie is about a doctor who is new at a hospital. She instantly goes about making sure her place there is known. A young boy is brought in suspected of having an infected appendix. He has an operation to remove it but afterwards he gets really sick. He gets sicker and sicker and no one knows why and it seems as though someone is making him sick. His mother is devoted to being by her child throughout everything he goes through, so much so that she is by his bedside 18 hours a day and rarely does anything for herself. Everyone sees her as a saint and a loving mother. But the new doctor suspects the mother of having a psychiatric disorder. This disorder is known as Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy. The syndrome is where a parent (or a carer) of the child will harm them intentionally so that they can get attention off doctors and other people.

    I have to admit, the film makers have balls to make a film about this subject. Especially considering that most people do not even believe in this syndrome. The film is really well done and should be given a lot of credit for doing what they did with the set being limited to so few places. The storyline was top notch and could have been written by Hollywood's best.

    The acting, while not perfect, was still pretty good. Pam Dawber should be given a lot of credit for selling her character so good. She really convinced me with her portrayal of the mother. Veronica Hamel also did well with the doctors character.

    The rest of the cast were pretty good as well.

    I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good story. 8 out of 10 is a very worthy score.
  • comment
    • Author: Skillet
    "A Child's Cry For Help" is an extremely chilling and disturbing portrayal of an extremely serious but little known problem that exists within society and can have tragic consequences. Viewers will and should be frightened by what they see in this movie but yet it is important that we recognize that this medical problem exists.

    Veronica Hamel has never disappointed as an actress and she does not do so in her role as the caring and concerned Dr. Paula Spencer. Pam Dawber also is outstanding in her portrayal of an apparently doting single mother who has a secret to hide. Together they make this movie of an excellent quality and ensure that is highly recommended viewing

    I would urge you to watch this movie-it is one of the best movies I have seen on the subject discussed
  • comment
    • Author: Stoneshaper
    as a physician who suspects a perfect mother of "Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy", an illness which causes a mother to make her child sick, then rescue the child to garner psychological attention. The disease is real, and the Pam Dawber as mother of the week is both believable and detestable.

    Hamel is basically Chairman of the Emergency department but runs into obstacles from the beginning. Dawber's son first has E. Coli infection, then other mysterious illnesses. Hamel finally puts the child under strict quarantine.

    The story unfolds with a good performance by Hamel. Wish she was cast in more of these roles. She looks wonderful, and her acting is always believable. 8/10.
  • comment
    • Author: MrDog
    I'm really torn how to rate this movie. So after much thinking, here's this movie in a nutshell: subject matter = stellar ... acting = not so stellar.

    1) The subject matter is a topic never really addressed in the movies, but of very high interest and importance. EXCELLENT topic.

    2) But the acting and portrayal of this topic was kind of trite, contrived, and over-acted.

    Still a healthy 7 out of 10. Definitely worth watching until the same topic with much better acting comes out someday hopefully.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Veronica Hamel Veronica Hamel - Dr. Paula Spencer
    Pam Dawber Pam Dawber - Monica Shaw
    Daniel Hugh Kelly Daniel Hugh Kelly - Donald Prescott
    Lisa Jakub Lisa Jakub - Amanda Spencer
    Cynthia Martells Cynthia Martells - Thelma
    Daniel Benzali Daniel Benzali - Dr. Everett Morris
    James Pickens Jr. James Pickens Jr. - Brad Currie
    Jeff Williams Jeff Williams - Dr. Alec Jefferson
    Zach Charles Zach Charles - Eric Shaw (as Zachary Charles)
    Tobey Maguire Tobey Maguire - Peter Lively
    Regina Krueger Regina Krueger - Dr. Joan Cates
    Lois Hicks Lois Hicks - Nurse Alma
    James Gale James Gale - John Pinetta
    Connie Craig Connie Craig - Receptionist
    John Ashton John Ashton - Cal Warner
    All rights reserved © 2017-2019