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Robert F. Lyons,
In this comedy/drama, a young American soldier desperately wants to lose his virginity before he's shipped off to Vietnam. He meets a friendly young woman who appears willing to help him ... See full summary »
I saw this movie while stationed in Germany in 1971, about 6 months after reading the book. Both the book and the movie are as perfect as can be, and the movie, as best I can remember, stays absolutely faithful to the book.
Richard Thomas, Catherine Burns, and Desi Arnaz, Jr. play 3 high-school friends in New Mexico, and the movie tells of a few months in their lives during World War II. Part hilarious, part romantic, part exciting, part heart-breaking, and beautiful throughout. No spoilers here, since all of this movie should be a surprise (like E.T.), but it has something for everyone.
As far as I know, Richard Bradford wrote only one other novel, So Far From Heaven, also set in New Mexico, with unrelated characters and plot. It is just as good a book. I found a couple of out-of-print copies at bn.com. It would also make a sensational movie -- I hope someone does it.
Both of these books and the movie were my first introduction to Latino versus Anglo issues, and show both the best and the worst of their relations.
For Richard Thomas, it marked (about) the beginning of a stellar career, and Desi Arnaz, Jr. enjoyed moderate success. Catherine Burns, however, who was excellent in the movie, simply dropped off the radar screens. Again, if anyone knows of anything else she's done, please send email.
Anyway, I'm rambling a bit, but if you EVER get a chance to see this movie, it's worth a lot of trouble and expense. Rating: 10
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