Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: A Friend Indeed--The Bill Sackter Story

When researching movies for potential Tuesday's Overlooked subjects, I was trying to find the TV-movie Bill, starring Mickey Rooney as real-life man Bill Sackter, a mentally challenged individual who became a hero in the fight for rights of those with disabilitites. Footage for that film is scarce, but I did come across this fine documentary about Sackter, A Friend Indeed--The Bill Sackter Story.

This 2009 doc spans the entire life of Sackter, who, after taking an intelligence test at age 7, was deemed mentally retarded and taken from his widowed mother and sisters and placed in an institution, never to see his family again. Later as an adult, he was placed in a halfway house and worked odd jobs, which led him into a freindship with filmmaker Barry Morrow. Morrow became a close friend of Bill's and eventually became his guardian, giving Bill a new lease on life. His story became widespread and even earned him recognition from President Jimmy Carter in 1979. His story was dramatized in the Rooney TV-film, which garnered Emmys and Golden Globes.

The documentary gives the viewer the opportunity to know the real Sackter, making his story even more poignant and moving. At a time which seems to become more cynical by the day, A Friend Indeed--The Bill Sackter Story is a fine way to remind yourself that good things do happen, even if they happen later than deserved.

Here is the film in its entirety. Enjoy!

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