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Lee J. Cobb
Danny inherits two houses so Pilon and his lazy, impoverished friends move in. One of them, Pirate, is saving money which Pilon hopes to steal till he learns it is being saved to buy a gold candlestick for St. Francis. When one of the houses burns down and Danny is hurt fighting, Pilon makes an effort to make life better for his friend. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Tortilla Flat" is a good movie. In some ways, it reminds me of "Juarez," another film in which John Garfield plays a Latino. The similarity is that both are good films that have contained within them really terrific scenes. I guess you could say that in these films, the parts are in some ways greater than the whole.
For me, the best scenes in "Tortilla Flat" revolve around Frank Morgan, who plays a sort of tramp (homeless man) who goes around with a bunch of dogs. Like Mr. Morgan, one of the dogs seems to have appeared in "The Wizard of Oz" -- yes, I think Toto is in "Tortilla Flat." Not surprising, since both films were directed by Victor Fleming.
But the most extraordinary scene is that in which Frank Morgan has gathered his five dogs, in the midst of the majestic Redwood Forest, and relates to the dogs the story of St. Francis. As he is telling the story, the dogs actually have a vision! As the vision hovers, and the dogs react, Morgan averts his eyes. When the vision passes, Morgan shouts to the dogs: "Did you see him? Did you see him? It was St. Francis! What good boys you must be to see St. Francis!"
I know of few other films that depict pure religious experience so effectively. It raises this good film onto another level.
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