Picks and Pans Review: A Cry for Help: the Tracey Thurman Story

updated 10/02/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/02/1989 01:00AM

NBC (Mon., Oct. 2, 9 P.M. ET)

A+

First there was Elizabeth Montgomery in 1974's A Case of Rape. Then came Farrah Fawcett in 1984's The Burning Bed. Both actresses, looking for career respectability, took on roles in agonizing, women-as-victim TV movies and escaped forever from stereotyping as sexy lightweights. Add Nancy McKeon, formerly of TV's fluffy The Facts of Life, to this respected group. She gives a powerfully moving performance in a true and shocking tale of spousal battering. McKeon plays Thurman, a Torrington, Conn., woman who repeatedly begged the police to protect her from an abusive husband (played chillingly by Dale Midkiff). Finally, after Thurman was stabbed and beaten (this explicitly violent scene is especially disturbing), she sued the local police force. This well-written tale (which was scripted by associate producer Beth Sullivan) should not be missed.

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