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When Love is Not Enough, the Lois Wilson Story

Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation

Based on the true story of the tested but enduring bond between Bill and Lois Wilson respective co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon Family Groups.

Starring Winona Ryder (“The Age of Innocence”, “Little Women”) and Barry Pepper (“61*”).

In 1914, Lois Burnham, a young woman from an affluent family, fell in love with Bill Wilson, a young man of modest means. They married in 1918, and after his return from war, they set out to build a life together. While Lois worked, Bill struggled to find his niche. She believed he was destined for greatness, and despite his increasing reliance on alcohol, she showered
him with love and support. After brief periods of success, Bill’s addiction to alcohol spiraled out of control until his job, their lifestyle and their dreams were gone.

In late 1934, after years of covering for Bill and trying to manage his illness by herself, Lois witnessed Bill get and stay sober - not because of her but with the support of fellow alcoholics.

As Bill attained lasting sobriety and co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous, Lois was surprised to feel neglected, isolated and resentful. She was not alone in these feelings. There were many - wives, husbands, sisters, brothers - whose lives and relationships had been devastated because of their loved ones’ alcoholism. With them she began to apply the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous to her own emotional recovery and co-founded Al-Anon Family Groups in 1951.

Together Lois and Bill Wilson nurtured movements that have helped millions of people around the world. And together they've given the world a noble and inspiring love story.

DVD available at:


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