I Never Promised You A Rose Garden Reviews
A very strong and engaging performance from Kathleen Quinlan can't quite make this tough and over-the-top drama worthwhile. It suffers from the directors attempts to overdo everything. It could have used a little subtlity.
Quinlan plays Deborah, a 16 year old girl who is schizophrenic. Her parents move her into a hospital where her fantasy world comes alive. Her encounters with the other patients are horrifying. Only her doctor (Bibi Andersson) can calm her.
Based on Joanne Greenberg's autobiographical novel of the same name, this is a film you watch from the beginning thinking you've already seen it (and you have). A low-rent version of 'Sybil' meets 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' (whose success coincidentally allowed for the greenlighting of the funding for this piece of trash). If this was the first film I'd seen with Kathleen Quinlan, I might never have seen another one of her works. What a highly annoying, self-indulgent, over-the-top performance. And poor Bibi Andersson looks like she'd rather be anywhere else.
It's an essentially negligible experience except for some, at times, fascinating supporting performances, particularly those of Diane Varsi, Signe Hasso, Sylvia Sydney (an actress I never thought I'd see punched ruthlessly in the stomach) and Susan Tyrell, whose mid-film show-stopper should most definitely be added to the musical version, if there ever is one.