David (1988 film)

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.

Written byStephanie Liss
Marie Rothenberg
Mel White
Directed byJohn Erman
StarringBernadette Peters
John Glover
Dan Lauria
Matthew Lawrence
Music byMarvin Hamlisch
Country of originEnglish
Producer(s)Donald March
CinematographySteve Yanconelli
Editor(s)James Galloway
Running time120 minutes
Production company(s)Donald March Productions
ITC Entertainment
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseOctober 25, 1988 (1988-10-25)


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.[1] 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.


Source: AllMovie[2]


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."[3]

Awards and nominationsEdit

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)
Best Family TV Special (nominated)
Best Young Actor in a Special, Pilot, Movie of the Week or Mini-Series-Matthew Lawrence (nominated)


  1. ^ Mills, Nancy. "Bernadette Peters Becomes the Logical Choice for TV's 'David'" latimes.com, October 24, 1988
  2. ^ " 'David' Cast and Crew" allmovie.com, accessed April 9, 2015
  3. ^ O'Connor, John J. "Review", New York Times, October 25, 1988, p. C22

External linksEdit