The Good Mother is a 1988 American drama film adapted from Sue Miller's 1986 novel of the same name, directed by Leonard Nimoy, starring Diane Keaton & Liam Neeson.


The movie is about divorced mother Anna Dunlap (Diane Keaton) who faces losing custody of her six-year-old daughter, Molly (Asia Vieira) to her ex-husband, Brian (James Naughton) after discovering that Anna's boyfriend Leo (Liam Neeson) has been acting inappropriately with Molly.


  • Diane Keaton as Anna Dunlap
  • Liam Neeson as Leo
  • Jason Robards as Muth
  • Ralph Bellamy as Grandfather
  • Teresa Wright as Grandmother
  • James Naughton as Brian
  • Asia Vieira as Molly
  • Joe Morton as Frank Williams
  • Fred Melamed as Dr. Payne
  • Katey Sagal as Ursula
  • Margaret Bard as Aunt Rain
  • Nancy Beatty as Anna's Mother
  • Barry Belchamber as Anna's Father
  • Mairon Bennett as Young Anna
  • Zachary Bennett as Young Bobby
  • Scott Brunt as Eric


"The Good Mother" was filmed from April 15th to June 27, 1988 in Massachusetts and Ontario, Canada on an estimated budget of $14,000,000.

During the filming of an emotional courtroom scene with Diane Keaton about the custody of her daughter, it was found out that one of the cameras shooting did not have the proper film, so the scene wasn't shot.

Director Leonard Nimoy felt bad about having to have Diane Keaton film it again because she had done it so well. He showed up at her dressing room door with two dozen roses in his arms. He gave the roses to her first, then gave her the bad news about having to re-shoot the scene. Diane Keaton took it well and had no problem re-shooting the scene.

Box OfficeEdit

The movie opened at #6 at the box office, grossing $1,804,288 in its opening weekend. Domestically, it made $4,764,606.

Critical ReceptionEdit

"The Good Mother" received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it was given an approval rating of 55% based on 11 reviews with an average rating of 5.4\10.

Roger Ebert gave the movie a one star rating, calling it "one of the most confused and conflicted serious movies in a long time".

Mimi Avins from the Los Angeles Times said the movie is such "a stupid, mean-spirited, wrong-headed, morally corrupt movie that it doesn't inspire respect for its privacy".

The New York Times' Janet Maslin said that the movie is "finally no more wrenching than a placid Maine landscape on a summer day."

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