I came as a fan of the novel to this adaptation, not as a fan of one of the actors or actresses. Though the others found this movie using an actress at an awkward time in her life, I felt the movie awkward in it's adaptation of the novel.
In "The City Boy" Herbie Bookbinder is the main character whereas the film focuses on his older sister. This was extremely disappointing. My introduction to the book was at school. We read a large excerpt of the book that was billed as "Herbie's Ride". Although it was only the middle part of The City Boy, it was enough to get me to seek the entire novel.
The movie is not really about Herbie nor his friend Cliff. The novel parallels, though not equals, Tom Sawyer in it's intention, perhaps as a prequel to a coming of age tale. The movie spends a great amount of time in the city before camp, thus for me, losing it's great boyhood adventure appeal.
On it's own merit, aside from loving the novel, I give the movie 3 of 5 stars. It's fine. There are enough details taken from the novel to give that sense of familiarity without complete failure.
I am glad Herman Wouk says he never saw the movie. He would have been greatly disappointed in it's approach to the story. I now believe the other reviewers have it correct when they indicate the movie was made for a child star and not for integrity to the book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?