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Baxter! (1973)

PG | | Drama | 18 October 1973 (Spain)
A young American boy unable to overcome a speech defect is disturbed by the constant bickering of his parents, and when they get divorced, he slides into an emotional breakdown.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Roger Tunnell
...
Chris Bentley
Lynn Carlin ...
Mrs. Baxter
...
Sally Thomsett ...
Nemo Newman
...
Mr. Rawling
...
Mr. Baxter
Ian Thompson ...
Dr. Walsh
Ronald Leigh-Hunt ...
Mr. Filshie
...
Mrs. Newman
George Tovey ...
George
...
Nurse Kennedy
Frank Singuineau ...
Dr. Barbour
Mavis Villiers ...
Woman in Aircraft
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Storyline

A young American boy unable to overcome a speech defect is disturbed by the constant bickering of his parents, and when they get divorced, he slides into an emotional breakdown.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love Baxter! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 1973 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris makes a reference to Roger Tunnell as the Galloping Gourmet of France. Galloping Gourmet was the title of Graham Kerr's television cooking program and became the name with which Kerr marketed himself. See more »

Quotes

[Roger's mother is ranting and raving, and slaps Roger's face when he won't talk to her after suffering a nervous breakdown. Dr Clemm slaps Mrs Baxter's face to shock her out of her rage]
Dr. Roberta Clemm: [quietly but menacingly] I hate violence, Mrs Baxter, and tomorrow I'm going to hate myself for this, but right now I warn you if you so much as move, I'm going to break you into little pieces.
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Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Give My Regards to Broadway
Written by George M. Cohan
Performed by Jean-Pierre Cassel, Britt Ekland and Scott Jacoby
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User Reviews

 
a small masterpiece on troubled adolescence
12 July 2005 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

"Dear dad, I wish this journey would go on forever" writes young Roger Baxter to his ever-absent father, on the flight from America to England and right away tears up the letter and flushes it down the toilet. That's how this exquisite film about troubled adolescence, indifferent parents and the painful realization of commitment and loss begins. And it's no easy ride. Steering clear of the clichés that usually burden these movies, it offers us a clear and passionate view of the mind of this teenager in the way good British films do, in a simple no-nonsense way. (Kudos to actor-turned-director Lionel Jeffries for his efficient "invisible" direction).

A little about the story: Roger Baxter comes to London with his divorced mother. They are rich and he's enrolled in a very exclusive school, which he hates. His mother is a self-absorbed artistic socialite who has little time for her son. His father is still in the States and he's as absent to his son as he is to us viewers (we hardly ever see him). Also Roger has a speaking disability (he cannot pronounce "r") which further separates him from the rest of the "normal" people. The sun shines for our hero through a handful of encounters: to a young couple (a French chef and a Swedish model) who become surrogate older siblings, a young girl who's as close to a romantic interest that Roger comes to but not quite and the Speech therapist who's a much stronger mother figure than his own mother. Through a series of events Roger has his psyche shattered, but the end of this film, a great scene between Scott Jacobi and Jean-Pierre Cassell, is both optimistic and touching.

The acting is uniformly very good, but special mention must go to two actors who really carry the film. Scott Jacobi as Roger Baxter gives the performance of his career, while Patricia Neal as the speech therapist conveys both the quiet authority as well as the human warmth needed in the part (Favourite scene: Roger is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and his mother, not understanding what is happening with her son, slaps him. Patricia Neal grabs her wrist and in a very quiet voice says: "I am not a violent person and I will probably hate myself in the morning, but if you as so much as touch this boy I will break every bone in your body").

When the movie came out in the early seventies, a British film critic called it "a small masterpiece". Do find out for yourselves that indeed it is so.


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