Vinyl Dynamite #12: Sunshine

Sunshine Soundtrack

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.


  1. My girl cousins were really into this. The chicks really ate this kind of stuff up...

  2. I'm not sure what was worse, 'Sunshine' or 'The Waltons'.

  3. Not a part of the 70's that I care to indulge in.

  4. AnonymousJuly 19, 2009

    The 70's were depressing over all! The colors, the music, tv and movies, etc... Remember Love Story, The Champ, Something for Joey? Fun times.

  5. Wow. Sunshine gettin' some pretty harsh reviews. To be honest, it's not my cup of tea either - I'm still amazed that it was actually made into a weekly series.

    Of course, if you want to talk about depressing - Sunshine's got nuthin' on current reality TV. Now that's depressing!

  6. Like others I was really surprised that the powers that be decided to make a series from this movie.

    Dying young movies seemed to be in vogue during the 70s. And yes, reality tv is depressing no matter what the subject matter!

  7. The little girl in the first pic looks like "Carrie" from Little House on the Prairie.

  8. Oh my God..."Something for Joey"...just rip my heart out right here!!

    The 70s - Griffin and Phoenix (not that nasty remake, the one with Clayburgh and Falk)...TV movies were AWESOME then!! Someone always died!

    Is it weird that my word to verify is Bueller?

  9. I recall watching the show.

  10. Wow, first I'm hearing of this movie. Actually sounds like something I would have watched. As for weekly series, 40 years later we got The Big C. Loved Something for Joey...and Brian's Song, cried every single time I watched them.