The Children Nobody Wanted (1981)

Fredric Lehne in The Children Nobody Wanted (1981)

The Tom Butterfield Story

"The Children Nobody Wanted" is the story of Tom Butterfield who whilst attending Marshall University started helping out at home for the mentally infirm. It is there where he met young boy Joey who had nothing wrong with him but was dumped there as a ward of the court. When something happens to Joey it leads to him pleading with the manager to let him take Joey out and look after him. Tom's story doesn't stop there as it leads to Tom battling to set up a home for homeless children despite his young age, taking on the system in order to do so.

I've said this before but I will say it again, as a movie reviewer I have to take lots of different things into consideration when reviewing a movie. As such a movie may feature a powerful and moving true story which if I was purely a film fan would blow me away but then lacks the style and direction to make it great. So when I say "The Children Nobody Wanted" is a good but not great movie it is not a dig at the true story of Tom Butterfield but at the general production of the movie.

Michelle Pfeiffer in The Children Nobody Wanted (1981)

Now prior to watching "The Children Nobody Wanted" I had never heard of Tom Butterfield but a quick search for information was enough to convince me that this movie was worth watching. I won't go into a lot of detail on various scenes but Butterfield's story is one of patience, determination and that of a young man who felt a calling to help homeless children. Along the way we watch Butterfield have run ins with officials who don't think a 19 year old single man is suitable to be a foster parent, the battle to build a home of his own and his relationship with Jennifer.

The thing about "The Children Nobody Wanted" is that it is very stereotypical of this sort of movie focussing on the moving story of a young man with a deep conviction to do something. That means we have a lot of empowering scenes but no great style just the bog standard look you see in a lot of these sorts of biopic TV movies. It is why despite being moved by the story of Tom Butterfield I can't rate the movie higher not even when both Fredric Lehne who play Tom and his girlfriend Jennifer played by Michelle Pfeiffer delivering likeable performances.

What this all boils down to is that the story of Tom Butterfield is a moving and powerful one but "The Children Nobody Wanted" is just a regular made for TV biopic with a routine look and style.