Terry Jean Moore (Madigan) was convicted of a crime at the age of 19 and over the time she spent in prison, she meets a guard named Jack Hansen (Bridges). The two fall in love and Moore ends up having his child. Terry has to face the possibility of losing her baby, but she takes up the fight to keep the baby.
Amy Madigan as Terry Jean Moore
Beau Bridges as Jack Hanson
Mackenzie Phillips as J.J.
Albert Salmi as Captain Ellis
Joanna Merlin as Mrs. Sturgis
Margaret Whitton as Jackie Steinberg
Janet Maslin of The New York Times found the film a stretch: "Larry Peerce, who directed Love Child, tries for as much prison-movie stridency as the material will bear, but his portrait of Terry is so mild that the film's harsher touches seem gratuitous. The periodic cat-fights among the prisoners are certainly nasty, but they don't contribute to any overall continuity. ...Amy Madigan, a newcomer who plays Terry, makes her a raw-boned, angry tomboy at first; only gradually is the child-crying-out-for-help side of the character revealed. Miss Madigan seems potentially a tough, unusual actress, but Mr. Peerce keeps her at full throttle so much of the time that the performance loses its force. Her wildeyed, furious mannerisms, at first quite arresting, become familiar long before they should. Miss Madigan isn't alone in this; all of the film's characters have a tendency to come on too strong and then wear out their welcomes."
Nominee New Actress of the Year - Golden Globes (Amy Madigan)
Love Child was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on June 1st, 2010 via the Warner Archive DVD-on-demand service available through Amazon.