Searching for a doctor who can help him get his son to speak again--the boy hadn't uttered a word since he saw his mother die in the fire that burned down the family home--a Confederate ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Louise Mason is a young widow who fills her empty life with the task of becoming a children's nurse. As the years pass, and the widow tries to find her own place in life, her young charges,... See full summary »
Snooty concert pianist Eric Phillips is tired and beginning to fear he's losing his talent. His condition is not helped when he discovers he's the owner of an apartment building and the ... See full summary »
Francis Bernardone (Bradford Dillman) is the son of a wealthy cloth merchant in Assisi, who gives up all his worldly goods to dedicate himself to God. Clare (Dolores Hart) is a young ... See full summary »
Tom Brewster, handy with a rope but not a gun, rides into town and mails his lawyer's exam. When his lack of ability with a gun is exposed, the town boss Turlock offers him the job of ... See full summary »
Will Rogers Jr.,
Lon Chaney Jr.
Jennifer Smith heads a "Consumer Reports"-type company and her reputation for honesty is her greatest asset. While out boating one day she encounters a secret prototype submarine piloted by... See full summary »
It was a most uncanny and moving experience to see Will Rogers Jr. portraying his dad on the screen and looking just like him. This was unusual but not unique in film history: Eddie Foy Jr portrayed his father Eddie Foy Sr in Yankee Doodle Dandy with James Cagney as George M. Cohan(1942);and Andre Melies portrayed his father, the pioneer filmmaker Georges Melies, in Le Grand Melies (1952).
I was greatly moved by the whole experience of seeing this incomparable movie. The touching and sensitive way in which the filmmakers left out Rogers' and Post's death in their airplane crash raised the film to an even higher level of emotionally appropriate story telling. The Billy Mitchell episode was also trenchant and documentarily appropriate as was all the other skillful weaving in of contemporary events. The interspersing of life on the ranch with contrasting episodes from the wide world of Rogers' travels and his reaction to the depression-era's tragic altering of people's lives was beautifully portrayed.
Besides the fine acting by all concerned the sets and costumes were absolutely exquisite in recreating their eras in the story. Victor Young's adaptations of contemporary pop and folk songs of the time were skillful. Seeing Eddie Cantor himself acting and singing in this 1952 movie was very special to someone like me who actually heard him constantly on the radio during that same time period. The Al Jolson and Marilyn Miller clips were archive footage I presume, but where they dug up such high quality Technicolor episodes to put into this film is beyond me. Perhaps these were 1952 impersonations. However there was one serious flaw in this otherwise brilliant and affecting movie, namely the time line of the musical and historical excerpts and episodes. The movie had Rogers wandering around for two years and finally winding up at the St. Louis Fair of 1904 where he proposes to Betty. However, previously in the movie he had first met Betty in Oloogah about the time Oklahoma was to become a state in 1907. As part of the background time setting for this episode at the Rogers' home much was made of the song "Hello My Baby, Hello My Honey, Hello My Ragtime Girl" which wasn't written till 1909 as well as "Home on the Range" which wasn't written till 1912. So this musical and historical confusion goes along with the "nomination" of Rogers in 1932 at the Democratic convention, likewise fictional. Despite all that, a great and beautiful movie.
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