"The Trial of the Moke" is about the first black man to graduates from West Point. Flipper is framed for embezzlement by his fellow cadets to drive him away. But Flipper wasn't going anywhere until he cleared his name.
Samuel L. Jackson,
A man's best friend is killed on the streets of New York. The man (Robert Ginty) then transforms into a violent killer, turning New York into a great war zone and Christopher George is the only one to stop him.
A psychiatrist is sent to evaluate if a convicted multiple murderer who's awaiting execution on Death Row for eighth year now and whose behavior during that time got more and more erratic is still mentally fit to be executed.
An evil succubus is preying on libidinous black men in New York, and all that stands in her way is a minister-in-training, an aspiring actor, and a cop that specializes in cases involving the supernatural.
What we have here is a failure to communicate, as Paul Newman might have said. O'Connor's fiction has a central theme of redemption; the most vile creatures in her stories are all given equal opportunity to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as is the case with her story "The Displaced Person." In it, Mrs. Shortley is given true vision of the wide world around her just before she dies; in the film, lacking the expression of a narrator to provide indirect discourse, she simply dies, and as a University of Nebraska professor put it (can't remember his name), the issue meshed within the movie becomes a sociological one and not a spiritual one.
That being said, the film is still a sight to see, even for those not familiar with the original story. Sadly, it's hard to get a copy of it these days (I was reduced to watching it on 16MM). Probably the most rousing performance for me was not future film star Samuel L. Jackson, or even John Houseman as the otherworldly priest, but was instead Mrs. Shortley (Shirley Stoler). Her facial expressions alone (which, in the story, are accompanied by some of the most comic thoughts to ever grace the pages of literature)are classic in themselves. Still, the challenge of putting O'Connor's text on the screen with all its textual twists and turns (linguists seem to go ape over O'Connor, and after a little guided reading, it's not hard to see why) is a large challenge, and for all of Horton Foote's skill, it still falls somewhat short of the story's original theme.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?