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This is the story of a 33 year old man, Jim Fuller, released from prison after serving a three year term for intent to commit child molestation. Fuller is assisted by the prison psychiatrist in obtaining a position. He does well in this position and falls in love with the secretary of the owner of the company. A child is molested and beaten in the town where he now lives and the police pick him up for questioning. He has an alibi and is released, but a reporter who covered his former trial recognizes him. The reporter begins to follow him and reports that Fuller spent time alone with the daughter of his girl friend. Written by
Dennis Beaman <email@example.com>
The groundbreaking "The Mark" has now been released on a splendidly restored widescreen DVD with commentary by director Guy Green and star Stuart Whitman. Green admits that if the Whitman character had actually followed through on his child molesting tendencies and attacked the little girl he takes for a drive, the film would never have been made, as it would have been too difficult to keep the audience caring and sympathetic to such a man. While Whitman has fantasies and comes close to acting them out, he recognizes that he has a problem and turns himself in for psychiatric treatment, which is largely successful. The focus then shifts from his attempts to reintegrate himself back into society to the misunderstanding and persecution he experiences from those around him once they hear of his arrest. Thus the film can congratulate itself on being daring while staying well within the "safe zone." It's one of those movies that can pretend to be controversial while carefully editing out all the elements in it that would really make it so. This may be why it has been largely forgotten today. "The Mark" is engrossing as far as it goes, and avoids overt titillation (other than the kind that comes from dealing with such a story at all). It's expertly directed and acted by a fine cast. However, for a film that deals with the psychology of a child molester with complete honesty and candor, you would have to turn to Todd Solandz's heartbreaking, yet brilliantly funny and insightful "Happiness."
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