Ken Tucker
November 16, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

Storm and Sorrow

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
11/22/90
performer
Lori Singer
broadcaster
Lifetime
genre
Drama, TV Movie

We gave it an D

This fact-based TV movie about a mountain climber contains all the female-targeted themes regularly promoted by the Lifetime network: self-reliance, anti-sexism, romance. The only thing missing is pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton with a backpack, scaling a cliff-face while giving tips on breast- feeding.

In its quest to be a drama of feminist escapism, however, Storm and Sorrow gets its priorities confused. Lori Singer (Fame) stars as Molly Higgins, a real-life American climber who in 1974 conquered Peak Lenin in the Soviet Union despite her almost total lack of experience in cold-weather, high- altitude climbing.

Whenever the movie is on those icy mountains, it’s gorgeous and fascinating, but most of the time, we have to watch Higgins’ miserable relationship with her mostly male U.S. climbing team. They’re a clichéd bunch of sexist pigs, party-hearty male-bonding dudes who try to leave poor Molly buried in a snowbank just because they don’t like ”girls.”

Plucky Molly proves herself brave and strong, of course, while saying things like ”I’m always lookin’ for that next adventure.” The most paradoxical thing is that the climax of the movie concerns a mountain-climbing disaster in which Molly isn’t involved; she’s reduced to the role of giving advice and comfort to colleagues trapped by an avalanche. Shapeless and humorless, Storm and Sorrow is a sorry production. D

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