7.7/10
495
18 user 2 critic

Surviving (1985)

Promising student Rick Brogan discovers that his father whom he idolizes is cheating on his mother. Heartbroken, he finds comfort in the arms of his old crush but her father opposes the relationship which pushes Rick over the edge.

Director:

Waris Hussein

Writer:

Joyce Eliason
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Burstyn ... Tina Brogan
Len Cariou ... David Brogan
Zach Galligan ... Rick Brogan
Marsha Mason ... Lois
Molly Ringwald ... Lonnie
Paul Sorvino ... Harvey
River Phoenix ... Philip Brogan
Heather O'Rourke ... Sarah Brogan
William Windom ... Dr. Madsen
Marc Gilpin Marc Gilpin ... Bobby
Paddi Edwards ... Alma
Doug Scott Doug Scott ... Artie (as Robert Douglas Scott)
Camila Ashland ... Mother
Jane Simoneau Jane Simoneau ... May
Joe Berryman ... Sheriff
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Storyline

Rick is a 17 year old golden boy whose father wants him to become a doctor like himself. Lonnie is a 16 year old girl, who has just come back from a hospital after an attempted suicide. Their families are close friends. Right away, Lonnie and Rick fall madly in love. Meanwhile Rick becomes aware that his father is not the man he seems to be and Rick starts acting out. Thinking Lonnie's the reason of his son's behaviour, Rick's father forbids him to see her anymore. Rick and Lonnie's relationship begins to spiral as they struggle to cope with their lives. Will their love survive? Written by A. Cifres

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This movie tells the story of two families. It deals with the tragic reality of teenage suicide. It shows how parents confront their guilt and pain. Pick up the pieces and go on with their lives. How faced with the unthinkable, a family survives. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tragedy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A TV movie for the ABC network. See more »

Goofs

The word sheriff is misspelled "sherriff" in the closing credits. See more »

Quotes

Philip Brogan: Oh my goodness, oh my soul! There goes Alice down the hole!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Several video guides say that this film was originally 156 minutes in length. However, the 1993 video (released under the title TRAGEDY) is only 118 minutes long. See more »

Soundtracks

We Belong
Written by Dan Navarro (as D. Navarro) and Eric Lowen (as R. Lowen)
Performed by Pat Benatar
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligent, heartbreaking drama
10 March 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Movies about suicide are certainly not going to be pleasant from the outset (and I know several people who refused to watch "Surviving" simply because of its theme), but I think viewers will find something special here. Ellen Burstyn plays a doctor's wife and mother of three who clouds her life with activity so that she can't see what's really going on; Marsha Mason is her friend in the neighborhood, a working mom who got fed-up a long time ago and can't muster the strength to care anymore. Their two eldest children (Zach Galligan and Molly Ringwald) are embarrassed by their parents, are convinced they are in love and wish to escape. The opening montage of family photos and the sad, wistful score is highly evocative (and all the shots of Ringwald are fascinating; she manages to convey depth of character even in still photographs). Mason has a more complex role than Burstyn, but Ellen (after coming out of her fog) has several strong scenes, particularly when berating her youngest son (River Phoenix) for taking sleeping pills ("How COULD you...how COULD you, Phillip?"). When Mason breaks down on her front lawn, it's tough not to cry right with her. "Surviving" doesn't tug at your heartstrings for effect (it's not "Love Story"); it earns your tears. The film was notoriously snubbed at Emmy time and got surprisingly low ratings; it's worth rediscovering. ***1/2 from ****


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