My Sweet Charlie

My Sweet Charlie

Videotape cover
Written by Richard Levinson
William Link
Directed by Lamont Johnson
Starring Patty Duke
Al Freeman Jr.
Theme music composer Gil Melle
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Bob Banner
Richard Levinson
William Link
Running time 1 hour 37 minutes
Original network NBC
Original release January 20, 1970

My Sweet Charlie is an American television movie directed by Lamont Johnson. The teleplay by Richard Levinson and William Link is based on the novel of the same name by David Westheimer. Produced by Universal Television and broadcast by NBC on January 20, 1970, it later had a brief theatrical release. It is considered a landmark in television films. The film was made on location in Port Bolivar, Texas.


Set during the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie Roberts is a militant African American attorney from New York City falsely accused of murder during a demonstration in rural Texas.

Escaping from his captors, Charlie breaks into a vacant coastal vacation home, where he encounters white Marlene Chambers, an uneducated, prejudiced, unwed pregnant teenager who has been shunned by her father and boyfriend due to her pregnancy, and who sought refuge in the vacant home a few weeks before Charlie arrives.

Realizing their survival depends upon their willingness to help each other, their relationship, at first defined by mutual contempt, prejudice, and hostility, slowly evolves into a touching friendship.

Production notes

In 1966, Westheimer adapted his novel for a play that opened at Broadway's Longacre Theatre with Bonnie Bedelia and Louis Gossett in the leading roles. It ran for 12 previews and 31 performances.[1]

The television production was filmed on location in Port Bolivar, Texas in 1968 and was plagued by almost as many racial tensions as those depicted in the film. According to Patty Duke in her autobiography, her friendship with Freeman led to rumors of an affair. Marijuana was planted in Duke's Galveston hotel room by locals, though it was quickly determined not to belong to Duke. Texas governor, John Connally, intervened with local authorities to stop harassment of the production company and Duke.[2]

Principal cast

Principal production credits

Awards and nominations


  1. My Sweet Charlie at the Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ a b c d e Duke, Patty; Kennen Turan (1987). Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke. Bantam Books. pp. 8. ISBN 0-553-27205-5
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