Empty Cradle (1993)
The Hand that Empted the Cradle
I think "Empty Cradle" must be the third or fourth made for TV movie I have watched which tells the story of a woman giving birth and then something happening to the baby. But "Empty Cradle" whilst a fictionalized drama is the first which states it is inspired by actual events which certainly makes it more interesting especially considering this one involves a psycho baby stealing nurse. But at the same time "Empty Cradle" is kind of predictable as it goes down an obvious route of the mum trying to prove the hospital were wrong and eventually the trail leading to the psycho nurse, it is that obvious it is no spoiler to say that.
5 days over due and sure she is having a girl Jane Morgan (Lori Loughlin - A Soldier's Love Story) is rushed in to hospital by her friend when she goes in to labour. But after passing out during the birth she is approached by a sullen looking doctor who informs her that her baby son was still born due to her drug abuse something which shocks Jane as she doesn't do drugs. When an earlier ultra-sound proves she was expecting a girl the hospital refuse to admit their mistake. But it wasn't their mistake as one of their nurses Rita Donohue (Kate Jackson - The Silence of Adultery) faked a pregnancy and stole the baby in order to try and get her married lover to leave his wife and commit to her.
In many ways "Empty Cradle" belongs to Kate Jackson who as nurse Rita is attention grabbing. From her nefarious plan to steal a baby, the way she strikes her own son and the way her mood changes whilst flashing a smile she is unsettling and deranged. But whilst Jackson certainly owns this movie the character has very little depth and is all about the psychotic mannerisms which grab your attention, those sudden outbursts of disturbing behaviour.
Aside from Kate Jackson's performance well as I said "Empty Cradle" is quite predictable as it delivers some obvious drama. We have the drama of Jane convinced the hospital made a mistake with no one on her side and then when she finds some proof there is the hospital's attempts to block her. Basically "Empty Cradle" ends up an inevitable drama which also has some typical camera work and direction which adds to the fact it is ordinary. It is why despite a good performance from Lori Loughlin that Kate Jackson ends up being the most memorable thing about the movie as it stands out from all the routine stuff going on.
What this all boils down to is that "Empty Cradle" is really just another made for TV movie about a mother who has her baby stolen at birth. There is nothing wrong with it but at the same time there is nothing which makes it stand out from the crowd with the exception of Kate Jackson's attention grabbing performance.
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