"NOBODY'S CHILD," Sunday, 9-11 p.m. (2) (8) (Illustrated on the cover)--Triumph-over-adversity stories are usually routine TV, the always reliable tears building to thunder, followed by a heart-thumping crescendo of cymbals.
This one is special, though, thanks largely to director Lee Grant and also to Marlo Thomas (shown on the cover). Thomas is splendid in a two-hour CBS story about the real-life Marie Balter, who spent nearly 20 years in a mental institution. She went on to get a master's degree from Harvard and work as a supervisor in a mental health agency.
We first meet Marie when she is a suicidal, emotionally disturbed adult living in an institution, unable to distinguish between the present and images of her tortured past. She suffers from paranoia and hallucinations.
Most everyone gives up on Marie. However, encouraged by a nurse, a doctor ("I look into Marie's eyes and I see someone there") and a few others, Marie begins to make slow improvement and the dominoes begin to fall.