Back to the Babies
Social worker Annie Beales (Lea Thompson - Back to the Future Part III) has only been working in the area for a short while but is making great inroads with children in trouble and their parents who are struggling to care for them. But Annie also becomes suspicious of senior social worker, Georgia Tann (Mary Tyler Moore - Change of Habit), who seems to be overly keen to remove children from families when ever the opportunity arises. As she snoops further Annie comes to suspect that Georgia and her friends are using the Tennessee Children's Home Society as a front for an illegal adoption business which is lining their pockets.
"Based on actual events", words to that affect preceded the start of "Stolen Babies" and they didn't surprise me as most movies which are made for TV and feature a storyline dealing with historic illegal baby adoption are in fact based on actual events or inspired by a true story. And to be honest I have watched quite a few of these made for TV movies which deal with this sort of historic corruption in some social services. Unfortunately "Stolen Babies" despite its casting of familiar names fails to really stand out from the crowd with what ends up quite a routine story.
That routine story in "Stolen Babies" sees Annie upsetting the apple cart when she becomes aware of the illegal practices going on with Georgia Tann being behind it, leading to Annie being fired from her job thanks to Georgia's powerful friends. But of course we not only get Annie persevering in trying to highlight the illegal adoptions which are going on but we also get the cracks appearing in Tann's operation which of course will lead to the eventual downfall of it. Now I could have said spoiler alert but in this sort of made for TV movie it certainly isn't as the path of the story is pretty obvious.
The thing is that from start to finish "Stolen Babies" is dry, yes we have Mary Tyler Moore playing it as a nasty old woman with power and the ability to blackmail others but that is all there is to the movie. The horror, drama and emotion of the true story sadly never really materialises. It is why "Stolen Babies" is one of those movies which you might find yourself watching a second time, not because it was good but because you forgot you watched it the first time.
What this all boils down to is that "Stolen Babies" ends up one of those movies which tells an important historical story but does so in a manner which is not overly memorable or attention grabbing, although that doesn't make it a bad movie, just an ordinary one.