Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.
A morgue attendant is talked into running a brothel at his workplace after a deceased pimp is sent there. However, the pimp's killers don't look too kindly on this new 'business', nor does the morgue's owner.
A poignant comedy about a mute who befriends Nicole, the little daughter of a prostitute. Gleason shows his considerable talents as an actor without uttering a sound as he plays the bumbling, kind-hearted janitor, Gigot. Gleason wrote the original story and music for this film. Written by
Charlie Watkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A heartwarming Gleason tribute to Chaplin and The Kid
This precious movie, Gigot, was made by Jackie Gleason as a tribute to his love for Charles Chaplin and his classic silent film The Kid (1921). Gleason's character Gigot is poor, basically a tramp, and mute, the muteness a plot device to emphasize that communication in film is all the more profound and emotional when the actor does not speak, but has to communicate to the audience through facial expressions and pantomime alone. Jackie Gleason would have been a WONDERFUL actor in the silent era. He is outstanding in Gigot. I'll bet Chaplin loved this film. Even the lovely French style music reminded me of similar music in Chaplin's silent classic City Lights (1931).
Instead of a little boy (Jackie Coogan in the original), Gleason makes the little child a girl, one who is so traumatized by life and living with a prostitute mother that she rarely speaks either. These two souls don't need words to communicate their love for one another.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film, almost painful to watch, is when Gigot takes little Nicole (the winsome Diane Gardner, whatever happened to her?) to a church. Of course she has been raised without faith, and Gigot yearns to teach the child about Christ's sacrifice on the cross, but he can't tell her in words. He starts hitting himself in frustration, but the love of the little girl rescues him from his torment. They'd never put a scene like that in a modern mainstream film in Hollywood today. Not politically correct.
Just like with Chaplin films, there are mixtures of pathos and comedy. These juxtapositions are timeless and still effective, as long as the human heart remains sensitive to others besides itself.
Often broadcast on the Fox Movie Channel, but unfortunately in pan and scan. This film needs a remastering and an official DVD release in its original widescreen.
10 out of 10.
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