The Chadwick Family (1974 TV Movie)
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When the film begins, Mr. and Mrs. Chadwick (MacMurray and Kathleen Maguire) have a very full life--two of their daughters are married, one's about to marry and they've got a mess of grandkids. Plus, they are older...at retirement age. However, into this very solid family a LOT of change is about to occur. Mr. Chadwick is offered the perfect job...many states away. And, although he's taken the offer, he doesn't anticipate all the many family upheavals which are about to occur and upset their plans.
This is definitely a Kleenex film....so have some nearby just in case. It's also a movie that gets MUCH better as it goes on...and tackles some VERY adult and tough topics. I could say more but don't want to spoil it. If you want to see it, this installment of "The ABC Movie of the Week" is on YouTube. Be prepared for a lousy print--a bit blurry and degraded due to age.
Fred MacMurray is patriarch of The Chadwick Family, he owns the local newspaper which has gotten a degree of fame something like William Allen White's small town Emporia Gazette. MacMurray is mulling over an offer to move to Chicago and work for big time newspaper magnate John Larch as a columnist.
MacMurray and Kathleen Maguire have a large extended family, three daughters and a son with spouses for nearly all. The big plot element in the film is the death of son Stephen Nathan who has a charter plane business of a rare disease. Other parts of the film are daughter Darleen Carr who is dating a Chinese man with his mother's non-approval.
According to Charles Tranberg's biography of Fred MacMurray this was an unsold television pilot. Had the series been picked up it would have been a more serious version of My Three Sons.
It was a decent effort. Sad it did not find an audience.