WriterStephanie Liss, Marie Rothenberg, Mel White Release dateOctober 28, 1988 (1988-10-28) NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup for a Miniseries or a Special CastBernadette Peters (Marie Rothenberg), John Glover (Charles Rothenberg), Dan Lauria (John), George Grizzard (Dr. Achauer), Christopher Allport (Terry), Georgann Johnson (Loraine) Similar moviesRelated John Erman movies
TaglineThe true story of David Rothenberg whose disturbed father set him on fire.
David 1988 tv movie part 1
David is a 1988 American television movie, the true story of a child named David Rothenberg, who was burned by his father. This made-for-television film co-starred Matthew Lawrence as David, Bernadette Peters as his mother, and John Glover as his father. It aired on ABC.
The film is based on a book written by Marie Rothenberg and Mel White and relates the true story of David, a child who was burned over 90 percent of his body by his father. The parents were estranged and the non-custodial father, Charles Rothenberg, fled with David in tow to California, but quickly decided that he could not care for David alone. However, rather than return David to his mother's care, the elder Rothenberg used kerosene to set fire to his son while the boy slept in a hotel room. The movie shows how his mother, Marie Rothenberg, coped with the crisis, and the courage and determination of David.
Bernadette Peters as Marie Rothenberg
John Glover as Charles Rothenberg
Dan Lauria as John
George Grizzard as Dr. Achauer
Matthew Lawrence as David Rothenberg
In his review, John J. O'Connor wrote: "David can indeed be painful at certain moments but, in the end, its message about going beyond surface appearances comes through admirably."
Awards and nominations
Outstanding Achievement in Makeup for a Miniseries or a Special (nominated)
Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special (nominated)
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries or a Special (nominated)
Young Artist Award
Best Family TV Special (nominated)
Best Young Actor in a Special, Pilot, Movie of the Week or Mini-Series-Matthew Lawrence (nominated)