1 item from 1996
In a small Deep South town in 1942, "The Summer of Ben Tyler" was a tough summer -- even if liberating.
Another of those involving Hallmark Hall of Fame tales on CBS, "Tyler" covers two anguishing problems, at least for this town at that time.
One is the adoption of a newly orphaned black boy, Ben (Charles Mattocks), by the loving and white Rayburns (James Woods and Elizabeth McGovern). The other is the domination of the town in general, and lawyer Temple Rayburn specifically, by slyly munificent Spencer Maitland (Len Cariou), owner of town employer Maitland Mills.
The town, at least the gossipy old marms, fuss over Ben's presence in the Rayburn home; Maitland, desiring to extend his power base, urges Rayburn to run for the state Senate and pays the bills. But then Maitland's drunken son kills a black woman in a rainy hit-and-run and looks to get away with it, enveloping Rayburn in moral dilemmas.
It's a warm, wise script by Alabama native Robert Inman, and director Arthur Allan Seidelman has a solid cast, including the can-do-everything Woods as the laid-back lawyer and Cariou as the deceptive town tyrant. Two newcomers deserve special mention: Julia McIlvaine as the Rayburns' spunky daughter and Mattocks as the mildly retarded Ben, who is "a fine fellow" and wise well beyond his supposed capabilities.
THE SUMMER OF BEN TYLER
Hallmark Hall of Fame Prods.
Executive producers Richard Welsh,
Ronnie D. Clemmer, Bill Pace, Richard P. Kughn, Sharon Cicero
Co-executive producer Brent Shields
Producer Dan Witt
Co-producer Jeffrey R. Coates
Line producer Timothy M. Bourne
Director Arthur Allan Seidelman
Writer Robert Inman
Director of photography Neil Roach
Production design Jan Scott
Costume design Helen Butler
Casting director Lynn Kressel
Editor Toni Morgon
Music Van Dyke Parks
Cast: James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Len Cariou, Charles Mattocks, Julia McIlvaine, Kevin Isola, Clifton James, Anita Gillette, Gregory Perrelli, Jack Gilpin, Novella Nelson, Millie Perkins, Ronn Carroll, Ed Grady, Phil Loch, Richard Olsen
Airdate: Sunday, Dec. 15, 9-11 p.m.
1 item from 1996
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners