The Ordeal of Bill Carney is a TV movie inspired by a landmark court decision. Ray Sharkey plays Carney, an Army reservist whose spine is damaged in a jeep accident. Left a quadriplegic, Carney loses custody of his two children to ex-wife Betty Buckley. Despite the concerted efforts of the Disabled Veterans of America, as well as paraplegic lawyer Richard Crenna, the courts refuse to restore custody to Carney. But with the moral support of Crenna and his girl friend, Carney keeps up the court battle, and eventually emerges victorious. The film sagaciously avoids all temptations to wallow in sentiment; Carney refuses to feel sorry for himself, and his attitude is contagious. The cast of Ordeal of Bill Carney includes three comparative newcomers on the verge of TV stardom: Ana Alicia as Carney's new lady friend, and David Faustino and Jeremy Licht as his children.
by Hal Erickson synopsis