First feature film from director Fred Zinneman is a snappy little "B" feature that features Van Heflin as the head of a city crime lab who solves the murder of the town mayor by analyzing ... See full summary »
In this sequel to "Knock On Any Door", the residents of a Chicago tenement building band together to insure that the son of Nick Romano does not follow in his father's footsteps...to the electric chair.
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
It's rare when I am THIS out of sync with a film. "Member of the Wedding" has a very respectable overall score of 7.7 and the acting of Julie Harris was nominated for an Oscar. However, I really, really disliked the film and think a lot of the reason is that this style of acting and writing just seem very old fashioned and very inappropriate today.
The film is mostly a one-lady show where Julie Harris plays a 12 year-old even though she was in her mid-late 20s when she did this. Additionally, the 12 year-old in question seems NOTHING like a a child from this planet! Harris is very, very, very petulant, irrational and whiny--like she is having the world's longest temper tantrum. In a 3 year-old this might be believable, but in a supposed 12 year-old it's not. It's really a lot like a very, very young child who insists on walking into a room full of adults to perform--and it gets tiresome very, very quickly. It's supposed to be a coming of age tale but instead comes off as very fake.
As for the rest of the staff, Brandon De Wilde does very well for a young --mostly because he really is a young boy. And the film does manage to get a few points because Ethel Waters is, not surprisingly, wonderful. But they just aren't enough to save the film from the over-the-top and incredibly dated central character. Folks, this is pretty tough going--I really wanted to like this film but couldn't.
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