The Angel Doll
Originally intended for theatrical release, The Angel Doll is an adaptation of Jerry Bledsoe's bestselling novel of the same name. Set in the South of the '50s, the story focuses on "Whitey" Black (Cody Newton), a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who befriends middle-class youngster Jerry Barlow (Michael Welch) while the two share a paper route. Jerry learns that Whitey wants to purchase a "very special" doll as a Christmas present for his terminally ill sister. Not only does Whitey meet with opposition from the locals because his sister has polio and is thus regarded as "contagious," but the doll he wants is nowhere to be found in his hometown. Thus it is that Whitey and Jerry embark upon a lengthy, adventure-laden journey in search of the elusive doll, meeting people of all sorts (and all temperaments) along the way. Keith Carradine is top-billed as the adult Jerry Barlow, while Diana Scarwid is given the extremely difficult (and highly contrary) role of Whitey's drink-sodden mother. Filmed in 2002, The Angel Doll was not widely seen until it was picked up for cable play by the Lifetime network in 2004.