The Lonely Lady  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Lonely Lady is a 1983 film directed by Peter Sasdy and adapted to screen by Ellen Shepard from the novel written by Harold Robbins. The original music score was composed by Charlie Calello.


Plot summary

Jerilee Randall (Pia Zadora) is an innocent schoolgirl living in the San Fernando Valley with dreams of becoming a famous screenwriter. Shortly after winning a trophy for her creative writing, she meets the son of a famous screenwriter, Walter Thornton (Lloyd Bochner), at a party. She goes home with him, along with some other friends. During a late evening pool party, one of Jerilee's "friends" (Ray Liotta) sexually assaults her with a garden hose nozzle. Walter arrives after the assault has taken place and saves her from further attacks. A friendship develops between them, and they soon marry, despite the disapproval of Jerilee's mother (Bibi Besch). The marriage begins to fall apart when she rewrites one of his scripts and improves it greatly (albeit by merely adding the word, "Why?"). Divorce is inevitable when Walter scorns Jerilee during an argument and accuses her of enjoying having been raped.

As the years pass, Jerilee has several love affairs while trying to get her screenplay produced. She uses her sexual charms to pave the way to recognition, with revenge thrown in the end for good measure. Jerilee finally has a nervous breakdown in a sequence where she sees the callous people of her past appear as faces on the keys of her typewriter. The film ends with Jerilee finally successful and winning a prestigious award for her screenplay of a film called the "The Hold-outs". At the live awards telecast, she admits to her ex-husband Walter Thornton that she has never learned "the meaning of self-respect". Jerilee then refuses to accept the award, and walks out of the auditorium with her newfound dignity.

Main cast


The Lonely Lady was critically panned, and won a Razzie Award for Worst Picture. However, gay TV personality Ian Benardo often cites this movie as his favorite of all time.


Although the film was available in the past on both VHS videocassette and laserdisc, it has never been released on DVD. For that reason, both the videocassette and the laserdisc are somewhat collectible.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Lonely Lady" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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