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The Last Best Year

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Title: The Last Best Year  
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Subject: Mary Tyler Moore, Bernadette Peters, Michael Hogan (Canadian actor)
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The Last Best Year

The Last Best Year
The Last Best Year
Directed by John Erman
Produced by John Erman
Josette Perrotta
David W. Rintels
Victoria Riskin
Written by David W. Rintels
Starring Mary Tyler Moore
Bernadette Peters
Music by John Morris
Cinematography Frank Tidy
Edited by Paul LaMastra
Release dates November 4, 1990 (ABC television)
Running time 120 minutes
Language English

The Last Best Year is a drama television movie, concerning a lonely woman who discovers that she has a terminal illness. This made-for-television movie co-starred Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters, two actresses known for playing comedic roles. It aired on ABC.

Plot summary

Jane (Bernadette Peters) visits a doctor (Brian Bedford) after becoming ill during a business trip. She is told that she has a terminal illness and is referred to a psychologist, Wendy Haller (Mary Tyler Moore), to help her in dealing with the emotional aspects of the illness. Jane, although successful at business, leads a solitary life except for occasional times she spends with her married lover, Jerry, who leaves her during her crisis. Reluctant to open herself emotionally at first, she soon warms to Wendy. Jane makes a last trip to visit her beloved Aunt Lizzie (Carmen Mathews).

Jane finally faces the secret she has been hiding for years, that she gave her infant son up for adoption. As she makes peace with guilt from her troubled past and comes to terms with her fate she gains loving support from Aunt Lizzie, Wendy, and Amy and Peter, her co-workers. She returns to the faith she had turned from and makes contact with her grown son. Wendy, also, has had a troubled past and, through her relationship with Jane, resolves her own issues, especially with her mother Anne.



The story in The Last Best Year is based on the experiences of the executive producer, Victoria Riskin, wife of the writer David Rintels. [1] Peters previously worked with the director John Erman on her feature film debut, Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies, and the television movie, David. Erman suggested Peters for the film.[2]

Riskin said of Moore and Peters "Some people may think Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters...this movie is going to be a laugh a minute. But they're brilliant dramatic actresses."[2]


John J. O'Connor wrote in his New York Times review: "What takes place is that rare occurrence in films of any sort-a female bonding...Ms. Moore and Ms. Peters give marvelously restrained and touching performances." [3]


  1. ^ Riskin biography, retrieved March 19, 2010
  2. ^ a b Cerone, Daniel."The Peters Principle"Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1990
  3. ^ O'Connor, John."The New Woman Finds Her Place on The Small Screen"New York Times, November 4, 1990

External links

  • Internet Movie Database listing
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