Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
In the Salinas Valley, in and around World War I, Cal Trask feels he must compete against overwhelming odds with his brother Aron for the love of their father Adam. Cal is frustrated at ... See full summary »
Sentimental story centers around a deaf-mute, Singer, and Mick, a teenager who lives in the house where he rents a room. Mick and Singer become friends, though they are separated by Singer's lack of communication ability and Mick's struggle with teenage traumas. The lives of the people Singer touches are varied, linked only by their friendship with Singer. His friends include a deaf-mute, a drunk, a and a doctor. Singer does his best to help those around him solve their problems, but who is there to help him solve his own? Written by
Melissa Portell <email@example.com>
When Dr. Copeland goes in to see Judge Bronson he enters via a swinging door with a glass panel in it. A member of the camera crew is reflected in the glass as it swings shut. See more »
[Hearing that his son-in-law's leg has been amputated]
Must be something I can do.
I'll tell you what you're gonna do. They're sendin' Willie home as soon as he can travel. He's gonna need a lot of care, so we're gonna move him here.
Of course, yes.
I'll cook and do the cleanin' and such... but all the time you'll know I'm hating you. I got a feelin' I'm gonna be a very good hater... and if I ain't, I can learn.
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This is a sensitively-made picture by all involved, with especially moving performances by Arkin and Locke, both of whom were Oscar-nominated. I saw it recently at a screening which was attended by Locke, McCann, Keach, and director Robert Ellis Miller. (The widow of cinematographer James Wong Howe was there, too, as the screening was part of a tribute to the great cameraman.)
After the screening, Keach told Miller that the movie had aged "like a fine wine." I think that's true. While the music and some aspects of the shooting style have dated (e.g., there are several zooms), the emotions of the story have not. This is a quite absorbing and affecting movie, and Arkin is simply astonishing in the way he is able to emote so much without uttering a word.
However, this movie overall feels good more in the way that a novel feels good, rather than the way that an originally-written movie does. I believe it has to do with the structure of the story, which is episodic and delves into several characters' points of view without a truly unifying visual thread. In other words, it feels literary. (This is analagous to movie adaptations of plays suffering from "staginess," which they almost always do. The problem is not as common with novel adaptations, but it still happens. Even "To Kill a Mockingbird" suffers somewhat from this problem.)
Still, the film is beautifully shot by the great James Wong Howe, and again, the performances overcome the inherent script problems to make this a satisfying experience.
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