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For the episode of The Outer Limits, see If These Walls Could Talk .
For album by Sicx, see If These Walls Could Talk .
If These Walls Could Talk is a 1996 made for television movie, broadcast on HBO. It follows the plights of three different women and their experiences with abortion. Each of the three stories takes place in the same house in three different years: 1952, 1974, and 1996. All three segments were co-written by Nancy Savoca. Savoca directed the first and second segment while Cher directed the third.

The women's experiences in each vignette are designed to demonstrate the popular views of society on the issue in each of the given decades. The film became a surprise success, and was HBO's highest rated movie ever. The film's success was followed by an international release, and spawned a sequel, If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000), starring Sharon Stone, Michelle Williams, Chloë Sevigny and Ellen DeGeneres, which deals with homosexuality in three different eras.

The films Common Ground (2000) and The Hours (2002) would also use a similar format to address the issue of homophobia as If These Walls Could Talk. Anne Heche, who starred in the 1996 segment went on to direct the sequel, which received an Emmy Award.

Plot

1952

The 1952 segment deals with Claire Donnelly (Demi Moore), a widowed nurse living in suburban Chicagomarker, who becomes pregnant by her brother-in-law and decides to undergo abortion in order not to hurt her late husband's family. However, abortion at the time is strictly illegal. Donnelly eventually finds another nurse (CCH Pounder) who provides her the name of a woman who can find her someone who will perform the abortion. After a clandestine procedure she finally manages to abort but dies shortly afterwards due to hemorrhage.

1974

The 1974 segment deals with Barbara Barrows (Sissy Spacek), a struggling and aging mother with four children and a policeman husband who works the night shift, who discovers she must welcome another addition to the family, despite having recently gone back to college. She considers abortion with the support of her teenage daughter (Hedy Burress) but ultimately chooses to keep the child.

1996

The 1996 segment deals with Christine Cullen (Anne Heche), a college student who got pregnant by a married professor, decides on an abortion when he breaks up with her and only offers her money. She is operated on by Dr. Beth Thompson (Cher). However, the abortion takes place during a violent protest, and an abortion protester (Matthew Lillard) walks in on the operation and shoots Dr. Thompson.

Cast

1952 segment:

1974 segment:

1996 segment:

Awards and nominations

  • Emmy Awards
    • Outstanding Made for Television Movie (nomination)
    • Outstanding Editing for a Miniseries or a Special - Single Camera Production (nomination)
    • Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries or a Special (nomination)




  • NAACP Image Awards
    • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series – Jada Pinkett Smith (nomination)


  • National Educational Media Network, USA
    • Gold Apple (won)


  • Satellite Awards
    • Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV (nomination)
    • Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV – Cher (nomination)


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