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Adell Aldrich (son of Robert Aldrich) directed this TV film I saw when it
first aired. Starring Doug McKeon as a shy sensitive 10-year-old desparate
for friends, Burt Young as his father and Talia
Shire as his mother. We see the New York working class neighborhood where
the boy is subjected to abuse from peers, parents, and teachers, the only
respite is when he happens into a field and meets a dreamlike girl.
Though you can probably tell it's a TV movie, it's nevertheless a poignant look at a boy who can't cope with such a negative environment. I think the underlying purpose is to show what life is like to such kids, which is unusual in that usually similar films are told from the parent's point of view.
This movie was filmed in Corona, Queens, NY on 38th Avenue just off
108th street when I was a kid living with my Grandma. The house across
the street is where most of the indoor scenes were done and a bunch of
us kids got to be extras. Pretty cool. But very sad movie. Loved it.
Talia Shire and Burt Young were great. Sly came by our street to visit. I remember about a year before they started filming two guys showed up and asked how we'd like to have a movie made on our street.
We didn't believe them until the crews started rolling in and they used the back pantry and yard of my Grandma's house to store soda, food and stuff.
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