The People Next Door (1970)

David Greene was behind a lot of my favorite TV movies, like RootsRich ManPoor Man; Madame Sin and the remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? He also made I Start Counting and The Shuttered Room.

Arthur and Gerrie Mason (Eli Wallach and Julie Harris) realize that their marriage isn’t perfect and struggle to fix it as their daughter Maxie fights drug addiction. Arthur catches her in bed with a biker, high on cocaine, and immediately believes that his rock star son Artie (Stephen McHattie) who gave her the drugs, but it turns out that its the nerd next door.

Roger Ebert said that The People Next Door was “the best movie so far about parents, kids and drugs, and probably the best we’re likely to get (considering Hollywood’s recent tendency to exploit the drug culture for “youth movies”).”

This has a decent cast, with Hal Holbrook, Cloris Leachman and Rue McClanahan all showing up, along with Rutanya Alda as a nurse.

It didn’t make me want to stop doing drugs, but your viewing may change your habits.

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