Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn (5-16-77)
Picking up moments following the events of Dawn: Portrait of a Runaway Dawn Wetherby (Eve Plumb) flags down the police and Alexander (Leigh McCloskey) is taken to the hospital following the attack on him by Dawn's pimp.
As Alexander lays in the hospital unconscious, he remembers his father Eddie (Lonnie Chapman) kicking him out of the house since he isn't contributing to the farm. Alexander begs and pleads with him but its of no use and he then begs with his mother Clara (Diana Douglas) but again its of no use.
Alexander heads west to Hollywood hoping that he can get a job as some type of artist, but instead meets Buddy (Asher Brauner) who takes him under his wing. Buddy tells him that he can stay with him until he finds a job, but Alexander is underage and finding a job is going to be difficult.
One day Alexander comes home to find an older man leaving Buddy's apartment and he does the math and discovers that Buddy is selling himself. He may not be on the corner, but Buddy tells him that he can make a lot of money and to prove his point, sends him to an older ladies house where he can make some fast cash.
Reluctantly, Alexander goes and then Buddy sets him up with Myra (Juliet Mills) and one of her friends. The four go out to dinner and even though Alexander has had a lot to drink, the next morning he thinks that he and Myra will be spending the day together, but she has to pick up her husband from the airport.
Soon finding himself homeless, Alexander begins to turn tricks on the street and one day while at the museum, meets football player Charles Selby (Alan Feinstein) who takes him to his house.
Charles takes some beefcake photos of Alexander and then offers him a job as his assistant. Alexander quickly accepts and he tells Dawn of his new venture.
However, with Dawn being back home in Phoenix, she's not adjusting to the "straight" life. She's belligerent at school and while at a store, a former john recognizes her.
No matter how each tries to paint a good picture, she doesn't know that Alexander is also facing jail time since he was caught up in a sting operation. Ray Church (Earl Holliman) the director of a gay youth center, tries to help Alexander out as much as he can, but Alexander ignores him as much as possible.
Ray is also curious a few days later when Charles and Alexander show up at Studio One (a popular gay bar) and he wants to know how they know each other. He tells him that he's working for him and he tells Ray that he'll be at his hearing, although Charles doesn't know about his time on the streets.
Alexander keeps his court date and after a passionate plea, Judge White (Alice Hirson) drops all of the charges against Alexander after his confession along with the hopes of Ray's observation.
Since Alexander won't sleep with Charles, Alexander comes home one day to find another young man posing for the exact type of beefcake shots.
While Charles is having a party, he treats Alexander like a servant and has him go into the city to pick up a package. Alexander doesn't know it, but its cocaine and the police follow him back to the house.
They storm in and arrest those that are including Alexander, who come up again in front of Judge White. This time, she's not holding back and is almost ready to throw the book at him but gives him an ultimatium.
He has a few hours to leave Los Angeles and never return. If he does this, she'll give him one more chance.
Agreeing to this, he heads to the bus station to buy a ticket to Phoenix and when the bus pulls away, he sees Dawn walking the boulevard since since she's just arrived back in town.
If Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway hadn't been the success that it was, I doubt if this movie would have been made. The reason being in the first movie, there was a hint of Alexander working the street and he is seen going getting into a car.
While this is a good movie, I'm always confused with the beginning because of the flashback and then getting into his arrival into town. For some reason, it just doesn't flow that great and then he puts Dawn on the bus and heads back out onto the street. That first half hour is a little awkward, but, the book does a better job in the explanation.
Between the two (books and movies) Alexander is favored the most and can be hard to find, while Dawn can be hit or miss. Both are out of print and can be hard to find.
The Initiation of Sarah (2-6-78)
College life always looks like its a lot of fun especially with the campus and the rows of houses within walking distance. Plus everyone looks like they're having a great time (forget about studying!)
The day before they're to report to school, "sisters" Patty and Sarah (Morgan Brittany and Kay Lenz) are enjoying one last party at the beach. Outgoing Patty meets a guy and the two head into the surf where he starts to get a little fresh.
Sensing that Patty's in trouble, Sarah uses her "power" to break them up, nearly drowning him.
The next day, their mother, (Kathryn Crosby) insists that once they get to school to pledge her sorority, Alpha Nu Sigma because it's the best on campus and she doesn't want anything less for her daughters.
Patty of course is looking forward to it, but shy Sarah isn't comfortable with that crowd and as soon as the two enter the house, the sorority sisters, led by Jennifer Lawrence (Morgan Fairchild) fawn over Patty while leaving Sarah out in the cold.
Sarah meets another "reject" Regina (Susan Duvall) and she tells Sarah that at least they were more tactful with her rejection.
On the way back to the dorm, they stop at Phi Epsilon Delta (aka Pigs, Elephants and Dogs) and the two are the only ones at the house. The girls tell them that they really don't participate in the whole pledging thing, but they are impressed with Sarah.
Patty is accepted as a pledge with Alpha Nu and while heartbroken that Sarah wasn't accepted, she was accepted by Phi Epsilon.
From that moment on, Jennifer publicly humiliates Sarah and tells makes Patty announce to the crowd that an Alpha Nu cannot associate with one of the PEDs. Each accept their college direction and move into the respective houses.
While Sarah feels out of place, she's slowly accepted by the girls and for once begins to come out of her shell. Whenever she and Patty try to meet up, Jennifer always shows up with her crew and crushes the reunion.
As a psychology major, Sarah starts to spend a lot of time with teaching assistant Paul Yates (Tony Bill) and she notices that whenever things are getting bad for her, her powers begin to act up. Eventually she confesses this to him.
Although, she's uncomfortable around house mother, Erica Hunter (Shelley Winters) Erica tells her that she knew her real parents (Sarah was adopted) and at one time, Phi Epsilon was the sorority to belong to and she knows about Sarah's powers.
As the mood in the house changes, everyone is in good spirits and Mrs. Hunter thinks that now would be a good time to get back onto sorority row and she's chosen Sarah as the leader, but Sarah doesn't want to be the leader and after talking with Paul, they learn that there was an "accident" during an initiation involving Mrs. Hunter.
Sarah gets a call from Scott Rafferty (Robert Hays) the big man on campus (who's dating Jennifer and possibly Patty) inviting her to a surprise party for Paul. He tells her that it's his birthday and he'll by to pick her up later.
Since this was Jennifer's idea, well, you can imagine what's going to happen and after being humiliated again, Mrs. Hunter tells Sarah to use her powers and get back at Jennifer.
What Sarah doesn't know is that while she's harming Jennifer, she's also putting Patty in danger. However, Patty realizes what Jennifer's like and drops out of Alpha Nu, but it's too late for Sarah.
While there's a lot of Carrie in this movie, it's pretty good for a movie of the week and really, I think Fairchild gave birth to the "mega bitch" in this movie. Since people to compare this to Carrie, Chris Hargenson (Nancy Allen) is a Girl Scout.
An Early Frost (11-11-85)
With half the decade over, 1985 is kind of a weird year. There was a shift in everything and people were just learning about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the effect that it was having on the gay community.
As misconceptions were made of the disease, a controversial movie was in production which hoped to educate people. It became an award winning movie.
Michael Pierson (Adian Quinn) is a successful Chicago lawyer who flies home to surprise his parents (Ben Gazarra and Gena Rowlands) on their anniversary. The visit is just overnight and when he gets back to Chicago, he wakes up with a fever, exhaustion and sweaty.
He's angry at his lover Peter (D.W. Moffett) for not waking him up, but Peter tells him that he tried and Michael gets ready and goes to work. At first, he attributes his illness to being just exhausted since he did have a whirlwind twenty four hours and as a new partner in the law firm, has been busy with his case load.
One night while at work, he collapses and is rushed to the hospital where after a thorough examination, his attending doctor (Terry O'Quinn) tells him that he has pneumonia but also his tests came back showing that he AIDS.
Michael doesn't believe this to be true and says that he's been faithful to Peter (but learns that Peter did have a couple of flings) and he flies back to his parents at the insistence of his mother.
One night while his parents are hosting a card party, he can't sleep and goes outside to think about the future. Kate notices him outside and she excuses herself to see what's wrong with him. Nick sees Kate go outside and he joins them.
At this point, Kate is just trying to make sure that he gets well and Michael tells them that he's gay and has AIDS. While shocked, they deny it and Nick wants to hit him for being "that way."
With tension in the air, Michael goes over to his sister Susie's house (Sydney Walsh) and she's relieved that she doesn't have to keep his secret a secret anymore, more she learns that he has the disease and when his nephew runs to him, she quickly shields him and let's him know that she's pregnant.
As the Pierson's are sleeping, Michael calls out to Kate as he's having a seizure and when the paramedics arrive, they learn of his condition and one of the paramedics (John Lafayette) tells him that they don't transport AIDS patients.
Nick carries Michael out of the room and he and Kate drive him to the hospital.
Kate looks for answers from Michael's doctor and when she gets home, Susie is there waiting for an update. She's blasted by the way she treated Michael and again mentions about being pregnant and what the disease could do to the baby. Kate tells her to stop listening to her husband (Bill Paxton).
With Michael in the hospital, he goes to a support group where he meets Victor DiMato (John Glover) whom he doesn't like and also has a very advanced case. He also meets Phil (Scott Jaeck) who makes it known that he isn't gay, but thinks he had gotten the disease from a prostitute.
Although a definitive time frame isn't given, Peter comes to visit Michael and Kate invites him to stay with them, against Nick's better judgement and when he leaves, he tells Michael that they'll have one of the biggest parties that Chicago has ever seen.
Michael likes that and then when he gets ready to go home, Susie is showing and apologizes for the way that she's been acting.
As Michael leaves his parents, the two stand at the curb as the taxi takes him to the airport and you wonder if this is the last time they'll see each other.
By today's standards, this movie isn't that controversial, but it was the first to deal with the subject (and also put the actors in jeopardy since they were in a "gay" movie). However, since there have been movies dealing with the disease, all of the characters have been white successful males from a WASP-y background.
One reason why this movie still holds up is the fact that discrimination is apparent throughout and reflects the culture of today, since the movie is close to 40 years old.
Everyone is subject to discrimination (even within your own family) and it doesn't matter who you are since the disease is color/culture blind and without education everyone is a loser.