Message to My Daughter (1973) starring Bonnie Bedelia, Martin Sheen, Kitty Winn, Neva Patterson, Mark Slade, Jerry Ayres, King Moody directed by Robert Michael Lewis Movie Review

Message to My Daughter (1973)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Bonnie Bedelia in Message to My Daughter (1973)

Recordings for Miranda

Miranda Thatcher (Kitty Winn) is struggling with life with everything getting on top of her and her relationship with her father John (Martin Sheen - Badlands) a little strained. Having almost killed herself in a car crash John gives Miranda a box which her late mother Janet (Bonnie Bedelia - They Shoot Horses, Don't They?) asked him to give to her when the time was right. The box contains a series of tapes which Janet made when at the age of 21 she learned she was going to die in a hope that she would be able to give Miranda the closeness which would be missing due to her death.

Over the years I have watched a few movies which feature a parent discovering that they are going to die so set about writing letters or making tapes for the child they will never get to watch grow up, some are listed in the recommendation section. It is because I have seen other movies which work through the story that the impact of "Message to My Daughter" is probably less for me than for those who watched it for the first time when it aired back in 1973. In fact so far this is the oldest movie I have come across s which delivers a drama about a parent leaving recordings for her daughter.

Martin Sheen in Message to My Daughter (1973)

But as I said the basic storyline to "Message to My Daughter" is now a familiar one with two sides. We have the side of Miranda listening to her mother's recordings which take her on an emotional journey of happiness and sadness with in the end the wisdom passed on via the tapes helping to soothe the issues causing Miranda to struggle. The other side is seeing Janet and John's life as they deal with Janet getting the diagnosis that she will die from Janet tackling it head on to John struggling to come to terms that his wife is going to die. There is more to it than just these things I mentioned but it is a movie which you can guess how it will play out as soon as the set up is in place.

But it is a touching story which at just 74 minutes skips along at a surprising pace but not too fast that it doesn't flow. It also features enjoyable performances with Bonnie Bedelia and Martin Sheen who bring to life the characters of Janet & John as the movie focuses on their story, how they met and so on.

What this all boils down to is that "Message to My Daughter" is a touching drama but one which now 40 plus years after it was made features a familiar concept. It is still worth watching as it is still touching and features nice performances from Bonnie Bedelia and Martin Sheen but once the set up of the recordings is in place you will most likely find it familiar.