Can Quaker non-violence stand up to a gang of thugs ?
Despite all the weaknesses of a made for TV film, this one examines its core issues unflinchingly. A Quaker family is held hostage by a band of bank robbers and their non-violent beliefs are sorely tested. The film also questions whether their attempt at a non-violent solution actually makes things worse for themselves and their captors. Based on Stanley Ellin's novel STRONGHOLD, the film is suspenseful and very well acted. (If you are familiar with the Canadian theater scene, you will notice several familiar faces, including the wonderful Chapelle Jaffe (the best Hedda Gabler I have ever seen) , Les Carlsen, and Ken Pogue. It should be noted that there is yet another TV film based on the same book. Called A PRAYER IN THE DARK, it stars Linda Carter (Patriarch Pogue in JULY GROUP becomes Matriarch Carter in PRAYER !) Needless to say, JULY remains closer to the source work.
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