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Not in Front of the Children (1982)

Divorced for two years, Nancy Caruthers, asks her new lover, Paul Adams, a medical student, to move in. She has custody of her two daughters, but this new living arrangement prompts her ... See full summary »


Joseph Hardy


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Gray ... Nancy Carruthers
John Getz ... Dr. Paul Adams
John Lithgow ... Richard Carruthers
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Reverend John Carruthers
Carol Eve Rossen ... Jane
Lin McCarthy ... Judge
Cathryn Damon ... Sheila
George Grizzard ... Leland Crenshaw
Jennifer Horton Jennifer Horton ... Hilary
Britanny Wilson Britanny Wilson ... Mindy
Renee Rogers Renee Rogers ... Miss Brent
James Ray James Ray ... Irv
Helen Stenborg ... Elsa Carruthers
Matthew Faison Matthew Faison ... Lawrence Holmes
Ben Gerard ... Bailiff


Divorced for two years, Nancy Caruthers, asks her new lover, Paul Adams, a medical student, to move in. She has custody of her two daughters, but this new living arrangement prompts her ex-husband, Richard to sue for custody, based on moral grounds. He does not really want the girls to live with him, but his strict religious background will not allow him to stand by and let them be raised in an atmosphere of 'sin.' Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

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Plot Keywords:

custody battle | courtroom | See All (2) »









Release Date:

26 October 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atenção às crianças See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

To Love, Honor and Obey Your Ex
5 April 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Attractive divorcée Linda Gray (as Nancy) is happily dating vegetarian John Getz (as Paul Adams), a good-looking young medical student. They are seeing so much of each other, they decide to take the plunge, and co-habitate. Getting Ms. Gray's two daughters' approval is easy, and Mr. Getz moves into Gray's house. Although Getz has proposed, Gray is not ready for another marriage. Still, everyone is happy. Then, ex-husband John Lithgow (as Richard Carruthers) arrives to take the children to church. A strict Christian, Mr. Lithgow disapproves of his ex-wife "immoral" lifestyle choice. When Gray refuses to marry Getz, Lithgow takes her to court…

CBS-TV takes Linda Gray from "Dallas" to Massachusetts for this issue-driven television drama. It was the last project for director Joseph Hardy, has cinematography by King Baggot (son of the original movie pioneer), and boasts a soundtrack by Fred Karlin. The excellent supporting cast includes "liberal" lawyer Cathryn Damon (as Sheila), "conservative" lawyer George Grizzard (as Leland Crenshaw), the "Reverend" Stephen Elliott (as John Carruthers), moral-minded "Judge" Lin McCarthy, and confidante Carol Rossen (as Jane). Ms. Damon was just completing an acclaimed run on the comedy "Soap". So far, so good, but it doesn't all end well…

Scripted by Cynthia Whitcomb, "Not in Front of the Children" is described as a "taught and beautifully written drama of a modem-day conflict," according to the VHS sleeve, with "the clarity and impact of a contemporary classic." Not so fast. Through most of its running time, this story takes a position (the protagonist's clear point-of-view) it abandons, suddenly, in the end. Whatever you think of Ms. Gray's character, the complete failure of her stated intentions conveys a different message than you are led to expect; specifically, that a religious patriarchy defeats Godless feminism. "Nancy" could have achieved the same marital status, on her own terms.

*** Not in Front of the Children (10/26/82) Joseph Hardy ~ Linda Gray, John Getz, John Lithgow, Cathryn Damon

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