Principal's Dark Period
If you had spent 12 months dealing with various dramas including the death of your husband only to wake up and realise it was all a dream you could be forgiven for thinking you are going a little nuts. Sorry I got side tracked by one of the infamous storylines from the classic "Dallas" but it brings me nicely to "Dancing in the Dark" a movie which stars Victoria Principal as a woman made to thinks she is going mad.
When Anna (Victoria Principal - Earthquake) tells her husband Mark (Nicholas Campbell) that his father Dennis (Robert Vaughn - Superman III) assaulted her and tried to rape her he doesn't believe it and thinks it's connected with her recently losing her mother and suffering two miscarriages. Persuaded by her father to take Anna to see a doctor friend she ends up on pills which make her depressed and then pills which make her horny. When her father's place is burgled evidence points the finger at Anna being behind it with Dennis insisting that Mark does something about it leading to Anna being put into a psychiatric hospital under the illusion she can leave when ever she likes. But the reality is much more different as Anna is poorly treated in the institute. The question is will Mark realise the truth before it is too late?
The classic movie about someone being made to think they are going crazy is "Gaslight" and since the original movie there have been many imitations. But "Dancing in the Dark" is more of a variation on the theme which whilst initially focussed on Anna's fragile mental state as things start to push her over the edge it then switches to the treatment Anna receives in hospital and why before eventually Mark realising what is going on. Now that may see like I have given plenty away but in truth "Dancing in the Dark" is a predictable movie which uses the classic "good German" idea.
But whilst "Dancing in the Dark" is predictable it is still kind of entertaining, never really exploring the depth of mental abuse or the treatment of those in an institution just using it to create drama. Basically it is a typical example of a TV movie which for fans of easy to watch dramas will find entertaining but for those who prefer a more thought out script will find it convoluted.
What helps "Dancing in the Dark" is that it has a reasonable cast with it being easy to side with Victoria Principal and feel for her as she finds herself completely sane but in a nut house. Then there is Kenneth Welsh and Robert Vaughn who both do a good job of playing bad guys with Vaughn coming across as a devious and nasty piece of work.
What this all boils down to is that "Dancing in the Dark" is little more than your typical TV movie which uses a variation of a sane woman made to think she is crazy.