The film tells the story of a family in crisis. The mother, Leona (Quinlan), escapes to Jamaica to grieve the loss of her baby daughter, Edith, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. While there she meets kindly housekeeper Clara Mayfield (Goldberg). Clara pulls Leona out of her depression with a blunt, no-nonsense style.
Leona is so taken with her that she brings Clara back to their home in Baltimore to be housekeeper and nanny to young son David (Harris). At first he is resistant and sees her as an intruder, but as the parents are completely wrapped up in their own grief and dissolving marriage, David comes to trust Clara and to depend on her. Clara harbors her own dark secret, which when revealed, serves to firm the bond between these two very different, but loving, characters.
Clara’s Heart is a 1988 American drama film, based on Joseph Olshan’s acclaimed novel of the same name, directed by Robert Mulligan, written by Mark Medoff and is also Neil Patrick Harris’ debut role. The film stars are Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Ontkean, Kathleen Quinlan, Neil Patrick Harris, Spalding Gray, Beverly Todd, Hattie Winston, Maria Broom and Wanda Christine.
Clara’s Heart (1988)
Directed by: Robert Mulligan
Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Ontkean, Kathleen Quinlan, Neil Patrick Harris, Spalding Gray, Beverly Todd, Hattie Winston, Maria Broom, Wanda Christine
Screenplay by: Mark Medoff
Production Design by: Jeffrey Howard
Cinematography by: Freddie Francis
Film Editing by: Sidney Levin
Costume Design by: Bambi Breakstone
Set Decoration by: Anne H. Ahrens
Art Direction by: Steve Walker
Music by: Dave Grusin
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: October 7, 1988