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DELANCEY STREET: THE CRISIS WITHIN (TV) (1975 USA)

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Directed by James Frawley
Starring: Louis Gossett Jr., Mark Hamill, Walter McGinn
Genres: Based On True Story, Drama, TV Pilot
74 minutes | Full screen | Color | English

San Francisco's Delancey Street is the locale of a halfway house for ex-convicts, former drug users, and other society castaways. The founder of this operation is himself a paroled convict (Walter McGinn), who hopes to help others get back on their feet as he has. His touchiest assignment is the regeneration of a 56-year-old man who has just spent 36 years in the slammer for murder. This TV movie was the pilot for an unsold series based on the real-life activities of ex-con Joseph Maher, who in his heyday was a favorite subject of several TV newsmagazines. Sadly, the semi-happy ending of Delancey Street was not borne out in real life: Joseph Maher lapsed into alcoholism in the early 1980s, was forced out of his own rehab program, and died in poverty in 1988.

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