Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The second of two made-for-TV biopics on the same topic (the first was Side by Side: The True Story of the Osmond Family), Inside the Osmonds was co-produced by Jimmy Osmond and Dick Clark, and as such can be regarded as reasonably accurate, if a tad on the hokey side. Matt Dorff's teleplay recounts the rise in popularity of the singing Osmond clan, from their humble beginnings in Utah onward. The act is strictly stag -- that is, it consisted largely of the Osmond Brothers -- until siblings Donny and Marie break out and matriculate to superstardom. Perhaps inevitably, the Osmond juggernaut begins to collapse under its own weight, due to dissension, jealousy, and the questionable financial escapade of the singers' father, George (played by Bruce McGill). The story ends in a tune-filled concert re-creation, featuring the real-life Osmonds (or as many as could be assembled herein). Standouts in the cast are Thomas Dekker and Patrick Levis as the younger and older Donny Osmond, Janaya Stephens as Marie, and Veronica Cartwright as the siblings' mother, Olive; there are also adequate Hollywood casting-service approximations of musician/politician Mike Curb and the Osmonds' longtime TV director Jack Regas. The abruptness of the continuity suggests that the film was originally much longer than its present two hours. Largely filmed in Toronto, Inside the Osmonds made its ABC network debut on February 5, 2001.