Something About Amelia

Something About Amelia

Infobox Film
name = Something About Amelia

caption =
director = Randa Haines
producer = Leonard J. Goldberg
Michele Rappaport
writer = William Hanley
narrator =
starring = Ted Danson
Glenn Close
Missy Francis
Roxana Zal
music = Mark Snow
cinematography = Edward R. Brown
editing = Jack Harnish
distributor = American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
The Leonard Goldberg Company
released = 1984
runtime = 100 min
country = flagicon|USA USA
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 129084
imdb_id = 0088149

"Something About Amelia" is a 1984 TV movie exploring the drama to a family caused by incest. "Something About Amelia" shows what damage sexual abuse can do to an entire family, not just the victim. It displays the many emotions that are felt when such a terrible thing occurs: disgust, disbelief, anger, sadness. But, it also takes the view that rehabilitation and forgiveness are not unreachable either.

Starring Ted Danson, Glenn Close, Missy Francis and Roxana Zal. Zal became the youngest prime time Emmy winner in history for her work .


Teenager Amelia Bennett guards a terrible secret. She has been repeatedly suffering incestuous sexual abuse by her paedophile father, Steven (played by Ted Danson). For the longest time, Amelia has been keeping quiet about the whole incident, believing that if she clams up then the problem will solve itself. Thus she has withdrawn into herself and those closest to her cannot understand why she has become so repressed and introverted. Like so many other young girls suffering the same horror, she believes that she is the one at fault and that her mother, Gail (Glenn Close), will hate her if she reveals what is happening.

Steven Bennett is perhaps the most complex character in the film. When he is abusing his daughter, he guards Amelia like a jealous boyfriend, and shows envy and anger after she dances with a boy at a school prom and reveals she likes him. Unable to repress his own obscene sexual urges for her, he does not want any other male to have her. He forbids her to go out on dates like a normal young girl, and frequently tells her, "No one can like you as much as I do."

Soon Steven ceases his advances on Amelia and understandably she is grateful, yet her relief is short-lived when she realises that Steven is turning his attentions toward Amelia's much younger sister, Beth. Sickened at the thought of her little sister suffering what she has endured at their father's hands, Amelia finds the courage to confide in her school guidance counselor, Mrs Hall.

At first, Mrs Hall believes Amelia has come to her with a minor problem that all teenage girls go through. She smiles, laughs and only becomes concerned when Amelia reveals that the problem she is suffering is one she cannot confide in with her parents. Mrs Hall is worried and tells Amelia that she has never heard of a problem that is so terrible a child cannot confide in their parents with. Amelia manages to stutter, "My father has been messing with me." Mrs Hall is at once concerned and realises what Amelia is telling her.

Mrs Hall phones Gail at work and urges her to come home so Amelia can tell her what she has suffered. Gail leaves work and returns home where Amelia and Mrs Hall are waiting. Fearful of her mother's reaction, Amelia cannot bring herself to tell her mother but Mrs Hall does. She tells Gail that Steven has been having sex with Amelia. Gail flies into a rage and berates Amelia, accusing her of lying. Amelia breaks down in tears and insists she is not lying. Gail sends Amelia to her room and Mrs Hall leaves, but not without warning Gail she will report this, despite whether Gail believes Amelia or not.

When everything is out in the open, denial, anger and confusion plague the entire Bennett household. Gail at first tries to deny everything and convinces herself that Amelia is telling vicious lies. There is no way she could ever imagine her beloved husband doing such an unspeakable act to his own children. Yet as the shock wears off, she begins to believe her daughter, but then has to cope with her own bitter feelings of jealousy. Gail cannot understand how the man she has loved for years could prefer his own daughter over his wife. She is completely overlooking the issue that Steven is feeling the foul urges of a paedophile, not feelings of love or romance. Gail's envy is an example that even the most mature adults can confuse love with sex.

Steven is taken into custody, and is repeatedly denying what Amelia says. Beth still too young to understand the whole unpleasantness of her father's offenses. She is angry at Amelia for driving their father out of the house and, as Amelia once did, thinks that her father is punishing her for something she did wrong. Beth cannot understand that in reporting Steven to the authorities, her sister has saved her from the very same fate Amelia suffered.

Amelia's father experiences the greatest transformation throughout the story. After he is discovered, he claims that his daughter is telling sordid lies. But he later realizes that he has a serious problem that needs to be dealt with and willingly accepts help. None of the blame should be cast upon Amelia. She is the victim.

External links

*imdb title|0088149

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