Sarah T. - Portrait Of A Teenage Alcoholic

USA 1975
Starring: Mark Hamill, Linda Blair

Teenage alcoholics - not only a problem of the seventies. An insecure future, divorced families, spending too much time with the wrong 'friends' -drinking to give their lives a 'future' to kill time - to show others that they aren't different - that they're tough - that they're a member of the gang they joined.
     Sarah (Linda Blair) - fifteen - the youngest child of a divorced family. She has to live with her mother and step-father - her older sister has her own family. Sarah isn't very lucky - she's missing the dad she loves - and he dotes her on her when he's around.
     When she finds out her mother has arranged a blind date to a party, Sarah is furious. After she realizes it's with Ken (Mark Hamill), seventeen, popular at school, owner of a horse called Daisy and wants to become a veterinarian, she changes her mind. Sarah gets very drunk behind Ken's back. Because he likes Sarah, he feels responsible for all, allowing her parents to blame him for the incident. They spend some time together, and he shows her his horse. Sarah continues drinking, despite Ken wanting her to stop. She attends an AA meeting, but leaves because she feels she isn't an alcoholic. She makes an effort to stop drinking, though.
     One evening Sarah and Ken are babysitting. She tells him that she wants more - wants him all for herself - while Ken isn't interested in forcing their relationship - he wants it in the way it is. They end up in an argument and Ken leaves her. Sarah is very frustrated and starts drinking again. She gets very drunk and is found in a stupor by the crying child's angry parents. Sarah's mother and her step-father finally realize the extent of her drinking. She tells them that it wasn't Ken - that it was she who was responsible for the alcohol in the house. Sarah pleads to go live with her real father - and her mother agrees. But then Sarah finds out that her idolized father has feet of clay - he doesn't want her because he has his own problems.
     The world around Sarah collapses. Going on a drinking spree she steals Ken's horse, Daisy. Ken runs after them but can't catch them before they ride into traffic. The horse gets hit by a car and must be destroyed. Sarah survives uninjured. She cries for forgiveness - but Ken coldly walks away - the pain of the loss of his horse that meant so much to him still on his face. He wants nothing more to do with her. Sarah finally realizes only she can help herself and commits for treatment. "I'm an alcoholic." Words that shocked her parents - words that makes them realize that they failed themselves, too. And for Sarah - it's her first step into a future without alcohol.
     Mark played his role very well. He's warm and gentle - frustrated and devastated - gives a nice and easy performance. He brought realism and believability in his role that he changed a bit. In the original script, Ken was colder - a youth that has only his own future in view. His emotional scene at the end of the film is outstanding.