The Peppers - Mrs. Pepper and her five children Polly, Ben, Joey, Davie and Phronsie - are a poor family (the six of them sleep in a total of four beds in two rooms), but they love each ...
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The Peppers - Mrs. Pepper and her five children Polly, Ben, Joey, Davie and Phronsie - are a poor family (the six of them sleep in a total of four beds in two rooms), but they love each other and as a result are happy. Mrs. Pepper's husband, John Pepper, a mining engineer, died when the copper mine in which he had half ownership collapsed atop him. Mid-teen Polly was deeded his part of the mine, which her mother has told her her father wanted her to keep at least until she became of age, despite he never having found copper in it. Polly often acts as the family guardian to her siblings while Mrs. Pepper is at work. By chance, Polly and Joey meet well-off but lonely mid-teen Jasper King, who ends up befriending all the Pepper children. Jasper lives with his wealthy businessman grandfather, J.H. King, who pays his grandson no attention as he is all consumed with making money to the exclusion of all else. J.H. has no interest in Jasper befriending this poor family until he learns who ... Written by
The craft of fiction is a matter of physically stacking the cards. The art of fiction is doing so in a manner that no one notices that the cards have been stacked. The problem with this movie is that it is easy to see just how the writers went about working the deck. It lacks all spontaneity.
There is a nice gauzy late-depression (1939) feel to it. "Grapes of Wrath" it isn't. There's a poor family of five children and a mother (no father even though one reviewer remembered one) who works hard to keep it all together. The stove smokes in their humble but clean kitchen. There's little food in the pantry. Not far away lives a hideously wealthy old man with his grandson. By contrivance, they are put together, and after a series of near disasters (I never believed there was real jeopardy), things are put aright in a warm and fuzzy way. You sort of knew that this wasn't going to be a tragedy when you saw all those cute kids.
The acting is of the present day sitcom variety, i.e. not very good, litotes for bad. But there is one exception. The little girl, youngest of the children, is marvelous. Too often very young actors sing-song their recited lines. Not so here. What ever became of her? This is a rather nice movie to watch when you're not feeling well. It passes the time while not requiring a thing from you.
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