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In a small Georgia town, twelve year old tomboy Frankie Addams feels unconnected to the world, a fact troubling to her. Her unconventional views for a twelve year old girl make her an outcast among her peers, which she in turn blames for her situation rather than anything of her own doing. Her only real friend is John Henry, her younger next door neighbor, although she doesn't see him as a friend since she doesn't consider him a peer. As her widowed father is all consumed with running his small business, Frankie is largely left to the care of their housekeeper, Berenice. Berenice tries to provide as much true guidance to Frankie and what Frankie considers her problems, although Berenice has her own troubles looking after her wild foster brother, Honey Camden, her only surviving family. In addition, Frankie largely sees Berenice's advice as the rantings of a large, crazy black woman. Frankie believes that she has finally found her place in life upon the return to town and announcement ... Written by
I have always been a big fan of Mrs Harris: the neurotic woman in "the haunting"(1963),the romantic young girl in "east of Eden" (in "Kazan by Kazan,the director never stops singing her praises ,telling that he had never seen a face reflecting compassion as hers),the neurotic(again) wife in "reflections in a golden eye" (also a Carson Mc Cullers 'work which was not "cheapened " as it was always mooted;those who claimed this should read the novel before) In "members of the wedding",at 27,she portrays a 12 year-old girl and it works!Frankie looks like a tomboy,she is not feminine at all and all the lovely girls around don't want her to be part of their "club" ;she's been an outcast all her life and she wants to be part ,to be the member of something;when she sees her brother and his soon-to-be-wife ,she is fascinated by their happiness and her idee fixe is to become a part of them, to go with them on their honeymoon.
The only company she gets is her young cousin and the black servant;Brandon De Wilde was a wunderkind,one of the most brilliant child actors of all time,who,like his co-stars ,had played his part on stage before (like Patty Duke would do in "the miracle worker");De Wilde was also convincing in his parts of teenagers in "Hud" and "all fall down" ,but sadly was to die before his time;Ethel Waters shines too,in her part of the sweet tender servant:the scene when she tells the death of her husband is unforgettable;her singing is absolutely spellbinding.
This is not a happy story:the pain of growing up,when you are considered an ugly duckling,of being rejected when you need someone you can relate to,of losing the only persons who show you some affection,"member of the wedding" is all this and more.
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