A crusty old Sargent of the Queen's Australian army in World War I befriends a small orphaned boy and his tiny sister on the night he is to go back to Australia. The Sargent emotionally ...
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Norman Z. McLeod
A crusty old Sargent of the Queen's Australian army in World War I befriends a small orphaned boy and his tiny sister on the night he is to go back to Australia. The Sargent emotionally decides to take them with him. He raises the boy and sends the girl to a prominent girls school. As adults, the boy becomes the national boxing champion of Australia and the girl is a polished and beautiful young woman. As it is mentioned at the beginning of the movie, the boy has become orphaned, and the girl was a ward of the family, without either child's knowledge. This is a lovely film. However, the growing love between the boy and girl are a bit unbelievable beyond sibling love, but yes, it goes there. Afraid, they separate. This is an innocently presented movie about the old guy, his care and affection for the children even through adulthood, his desire to make them happy and safe, and the "miracle" that the kids are not siblings after all, since they are in love. Written by
While this is certainly not a great film, it is one of the better Allied propaganda films to come out of Hollywood during WWII. This story is unusual in that it concerns Aussies--a topic seldom covered in American pictures. Charles Laughton is sort of an "everyman" who you come to like. His life is going swimmingly until the Japanese attack. Forced to defend himself, his loved ones and his homeland, this ordinary guy rises to the occasion. I liked this because instead of a macho hero like Clark Gable or even Dana Andrews, Laughton is just so pudgy and ordinary that I think the message got across that war is won by the common people. A nice job of acting and writing--well worth watching.
The only thing that was unsettling about the film was the weird relationship between "brother and sister" Richard Carlson and Donna Reed. That was just plain creepy! Otherwise, a lot of fun...
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