Raggedy Man (1981)
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The problem with the script, and I suspect the screenwriter realized this, is that the Raggedy Man sails too close to Boo Radley, and so the plot must steer away from devices like having the boys be afraid of him. Yet he cannot disappear, so we have shots of him lurking about, or shots of his shop, lest we forget he is part of the story.
I think the film would have worked without him even being part of it, a small tale of a thwarted four day liberty if told from the sailor's point of view, or better, simply a tale of a four day honeymoon for the divorced women. But heaven forbid, there would have been little action. Somehow the ending violence robbed me of my memory of Sissy dancing with her broom while the Andrews Sisters sang.
But as I mentioned, that's if "Raggedy Man" was a straightforward drama. Unfortunately, it isn't. Building up throughout the film, and culminating in a grandly ill-advised finale, it has aspirations of being some sort of domestic thriller. The reasons for this are beyond my comprehension. Perhaps someone wanted a little unneeded excitement interjected into the film? That's not something I'd generally be opposed to if it weren't so poorly put across. It's a similar mistake made in a film called "The River Rat", which insisted on turning a low key father-daughter drama into a adventure movie for kids.
I have to say, though, that in spite of its sometimes misguided nature, the overwhelmingly well made aspects shine through. The vast majority of "Raggedy Man" is emotionally raw, pure and understated. It holds a convincing humanity and purity of heart. And that means something in a film that's just a bit too schizophrenic for its own good. I recommend it.