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BITTERSWEET LOVE (1976)


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I just watched it. I thought it was a very interesting film. There were no easy answers and the ending was clearly ambiguous. Some of the scenes, especially those involving the drive to Mexico for an abortion were gutsy. There were other scenes where the tension was heightened-- will they or won't they have sex again, now that they know they are half-siblings. Lana did a fine job as Meredith Baxter's society matron mother whose secrets throw the family into major turmoil.

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I happened to turn it on and at first I was thinking I had it on another channel...I'm still confused about this being on TCM. I thought it was a '70s Movie of the Week (oh yeah, used to watch those back then when we only had 2 channels, but can't think of any I'd want to watch ever again), but they cursed a few times so it couldn't have been a t.v. movie.

Of course, I had to keep watching today to see what was gonna happen. It was odd. I kinda wanted to laugh at the writing, acting, camera shots and at the same time it was like "ewww, really?"

Weird that they all kinda took the news almost matter-of-factly...I was waiting for someone to scream hysterically and faint dead away on the Spanish Revival staircase...but, it was the '70s and not the '40s.

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Yes, didn't you just love that Spanish staircase! Lana was the most hysterical one in the movie. I loved the scene where she realized that her daughter married a half-brother. She quickly and quietly excuses herself and goes up those stairs and falls into bed sobbing.

 

Some user comments on the TCM database say BITTERSWEET LOVE was a TV movie, but it was not. It was a theatrical release from Avco Embassy. It must have been sold later to Columbia for television airings and that is why it has the Columbia Pictures Television logon on it at the beginning. But it was a feature, one of Lana's last features (she would only appear in two more motion pictures after this).

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I kept thinking about a letter to "Dear Abby" back in the 60s. A woman wrote that her niece was seriously involved with a boy whose mother had been "dating" the sister's boyfriend at the same time she was and it was suspected he was the father of both. Neither knew they were illegitimate or possibly related. Abby advised them to carefully check things out and, if necessary, the mothers tell the kids the truth. I kept wondering if these people would have thought thought the movie was realistic.

 

In most, if not all states, wouldn't the marriage have been automatically anulled? If the couple stayed together wouldn't that be illegal and they could be prosecuted? I don't know what the intent of the producers was but despite some good moments this movie did ring all that true.

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