Vinyl Dynamite #12: Sunshine
What a depressing movie! The tagline reads: "Sunshine is based on a true story of what it is to be young, and a mother, and in love, and dying." If you plan on renting it at the local video store, be sure to buy a bottle of Scotch on the way home - you'll need something to dull the pain.
Take a listen to the introduction from the soundtrack. Beware, you're about to have your good mood torn asunder.
The TV movie was broadcast in 1973 and was a huge success. The movie utilized several John Denver tunes, and featured Christina Raines (the star of the awesome 70's horror film The Sentinel), Cliff DeYoung, and Meg Foster (she was Evil-Lyn in the Masters of the Universe movie). The film was based on an actual case history of a cancer victim, taken from a tape-recorded diary. The story takes place with the woman living in the wilderness with her boyfriend, who is a struggling musician, and her baby daughter.
Unbelievably, the movie was made into a regular series in '75 - there was no laugh track (thank God), but it wasn't the sort of thing that made for good ratings. Folks just didn't want to see a woman dying of cancer every week, and it was cancelled after only 13 episodes. Oddly enough, there was a Sunshine Christmas Special in 1977.
There was this strange melancholic 5-6 year period wedged between the two exhuberant periods of psychedelia and disco, where singer songwriters like James Taylor and groups like Bread topped the charts. It shouldn't surprise us, then, that Sunshine fit like a glove to television audiences in 1973.