The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables... See full summary »
The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables represent a broad cross-section of the American experience: the elderly woman whose pride is injured when she's forgotten in the latest census; the novice minister more pleased with the sound of his own voice than with the needs of his congregation; the mother who confronts the illogic of racial intolerance when she meets the best friend of the son she lost to war; and the enigma that is Texas. Episode titles are: 1) Interruptions, Interruptions; 2) Census Taker; 3) Negro Story; 4) Rosika, the Rose; 5) Letter from Korea; 6) Lone Star; (7) Minister in Washington; 8) Four Eyes; a further episode, titled Load, directed by Anthony Mann, with 'Jean Hersholt' (q.v.) and 'Ann Harding' (q.v.), was filmed but deleted. Written by
Chris Stone <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This movie seems like a good idea -- debunking myths and defusing prejudice, showing us all how diverse America is -- but it also begs the question of why nearly all the main characters are WASPs (okay, except for S.Z. Sakall)! Janet Leigh is lovely in the Hungarian-Greek love story, but why not cast someone Hungarian, or at least Eastern European? And Gene Kelly as a Greek (speaking, by the way, with a perfect American accent, but a few stiff phrases thrown in to show he's a foreigner)? Fredric March as an Italian father (named Esposito?) ... and the list goes on. All wonderful actors, but miscast in this. Not only are all the actors as white as snow, the rhetoric is pretty heavy-handed, too. I love many of the old Hollywood movies, but this one could have used a more realistic approach. The '50s were a strange time in American film, as in American life. Everything and everybody were supposed to be sparklingly clean and chipper all the time. We had to wait until the '60s for a wrench to be thrown into those oh-so-smoothly-functioning works ...
5 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?