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Touched by Love (1980)

Lena Canada (Deborah Raffin) begins her first job as a nurse at Brown House, an institution for physically handicapped children. Keenly interested in her work, Lena finds herself immediately attracted to Karen Brown (Diane Lane), a 15-year-old girl suffering from cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair who has been rejected by her natural mother.

Although physically able to do so if she wished, Karen refuses to speak or communicate in any way with other people.

Lena obtains special permission to work specially with Karen, but many weeks of patient endeavour come to nothing. Lena is not discouraged, however, and in the end, she discovers Karen’s most closely guarded secret – her obsessive regard for Elvis Presley.

In the hope of a positive response, Lena encourages Karen to write to the King. This she does, but weeks pass and no reply is forthcoming. Karen once more retreats into her silent shell and begins to deteriorate physically.

Then, out of the blue, comes the hoped-for letter from Elvis. Others follow, then postcards, T-shirts, gifts – Karen’s life is magically transformed.

Touched By Love is unashamedly a weepie, but it is also in every respect, a true, moving and beautiful story (the actual girl who wrote to Elvis and the home she lived in were in Sweden).

The supporting cast includes Michael Learned, John Amos, Cristina Raines, Mary Wickes and Clu Gulager.

Lena Canada
Deborah Raffin
Karen Brown
Diane Lane
Dr Bell
Michael Learned
John Amos
Cristina Raines
Mary Wickes
Don Fielder
Clu Gulager
Twyla Volkins
Clive Shalom

Gus Trikonis