Sunday, March 11, 2012

FLASHBACK: The Cradle Will Fall - 'Guiding Light' Movie (Watch Entire 1983 Film)


by Dave Bittan
Philadelphia Daily News
May 24, 1983

Charita Bauer, in her 34th year in the cast of GUIDING LIGHT, is grateful that she has been able to survive for so many years in the long- running afternoon CBS soap opera (weekdays at 3 p.m. on Channel 10).

"It feels good to have a steady job," she says. "I don't have to work in Macy's or drive a taxi. To make a living in your own profession is always nice. I'll continue in my role until they throw me out, or the show goes off."

In 1950, Charita Bauer joined the cast of the radio serial as, coincidentally, a character named Bert Bauer. (The show made its debut on radio in 1937 and switched to TV in 1952.) She is the only cast member who has been with the TV version since its inception.

Although Bauer made her Broadway debut as a child actress in 1933, her appearance in tonight's The Cradle Will Fall (Channel 10 at 9), is her first film role.

She picked an absorbing one for her debut. It is a suspenseful mystery- drama that features outstanding performances by Lauren Hutton as an assistant district attorney investigating an apparent suicide, and by James Farentino. He plays a gynecologist so obsessed with his demonic quest for a fountain-of-youth drug that, in his zeal, he becomes a killer. One victim is the apparent suicide Hutton is probing.

Bauer plays her "GL" character, Bert Bauer, in the gripping drama. She is one of six performers from the daytime serial whose characters are incorporated into the adaptation of Mary Higgins Clark's best-selling novel about the sinister medic. The six fit nicely into the drama without getting in the way.

The gimmick of convincing soap-opera fans to extend their watching hours into prime time by presenting their favorites in a different time frame works - because of the excellent script and acting.

The Cradle Will Fall is set in the midwestern town of Springfield, where GUIDING LIGHT characters lead their involved existence. And Farentino does his dirty work at the Westlake clinic, part of Cedars Hospital, which is an important part of the soap opera's setting. (The clinic was devised so that the good name of Cedars wouldn't be besmirched for loyal GUIDING LIGHT fans.)

For "GL" freaks, look for Jerry ver Dorn, playing his usual role of District Attorney Ross Marler, the beautiful Hutton's boss. Bert Bauer's granddaughter Hope (played by Elvera Roussel) is one of Hutton's friends. In their usual roles are Bert's son, Dr. Ed Bauer (Peter Simon), as chief of staff of Cedars, nurse Lesley Ann Monroe (Carolyn Ann Clark), and Det. Larry Wyatt (Joe Ponazecki).

"If you blink you'll miss me," Charita Bauer says. "I have a very small part. But I enjoyed it enormously."

Charita Bauer plays a friend of one of the murder victims, and makes the most of the role.

If you are a GUIDING LIGHT fan, you will love The Cradle Will Fall. If you like mysteries, this is one that will hold your attention.


  1. thank you Roger I'd totally forgot about this movie!! I remember it now because I watched on CBS back then as a Sunday night movie because of my GL! Fun flick. Why doesn't networks do the same cross promotion now days for their soaps?

  2. they also weaved the tv movie into a few episodes of Guiding Light. The doctor from the movie was the one that confirmed that Quint's ex Mona had a brain tumor that caused her to try and kill Amanda Spaulding as I recall

  3. I saw this on Cable in the 90's, and didn't even know it existed. What a nice little time capsule.

  4. Thanks for including this, Roger.

    I saw the original airing of this movie in 1983 on CBS & on a late night rerun in the late 1990s on my local Chicago, Illinois-based ABC station.

    I hope this can be released on DVD someday. Thanks Again, Roger!

    Brian :-)