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Roy Ward Baker
Nyree Dawn Porter,
Three adventurers lead an expedition into darkest Africa in search of the treasure of King Solomon, and on the way encounter hostile natives, volcanoes, dinosaurs and a lost Phoenician city ruled by a beautiful queen.
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This movie has never been released on video at all and is unfortunately a largely forgotten minor masterpiece. The movie is called "Baxter!" -- not to be confused with the other movie about the dog from the early 90s. This film is an actor's show case with child star Scott Jacoby, Patricia Neal, Britt Eklund and Jean Pierre Cassell. It was directed by the British director Lionel Jeffries and had a brief release in the U.S. in 1973 and has played on television a few times but has never had a video release.
The plot centers around a preteen boy with a speech impediment who goes to live with his abusive mother in England. He makes friends with the beautiful model (Britt Eklund) who lives upstairs and her French boyfriend (Jean Pierre Cassell). The boy suffers a psychotic break when he learns of the model's death and ends up in a catatonic state in a mental institution where his speech therapist (Patricia Neal) tries to reach out to him. The ending is one of the greatest emotional triumph when he finally is able to express his grief with the help of his fellow sufferer, Jean Pierre Cassell.
It could be dismissed as a three hankie "weepfest" except that the performances are all stellar and the tears in the final scene are all earned by genuine feeling for the plight of this lost soul.
I would be overjoyed to be able to experience it again if it ever came out on DVD or even videotape for that matter.
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