Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The 1981 TV version of Madame X was the seventh filmization of the old war-horse play by Alexandre Bisson. This time around, Tuesday Weld (replacing Susan Blakely) plays the poor woman (an airline stewardess in this version) who marries "outside her class" (hubby is a Presidential candidate). She is disgraced, gives up her baby to her wealthy in-laws, and sinks into a life of degradation. 25 years later the woman is accused of murder, and is defended in court by her own grown-up offspring. Adaptor Edward Anhalt makes a few feeble stabs at updating the story, adding drug abuse to the woman's descent into prostitution. Also, her child is now a girl instead of a boy, rabbeting a tentative feminist angle in the proceedings. Other than that, the 1981 Madame X has even less to offer than the lavish but empty 1966 Lana Turner version--except for an offbeat appearance by comedian Jerry Stiller as a slimy blackmailer.
wife, defense-attorney, murder, politician, son