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"American Playhouse" My Palikari (1982)

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Silent Rebellion (1982)

Author: Steve Skafte from Nova Scotia, Canada
27 October 2009

Although the IMDb listing reads "My Palikari", you're only going to locate this film under the title of "Silent Rebellion". This was the title chosen for the VHS release, which is the only format in which it can be found.

In a career littered with cheesy B-movies and half-forgotten television films, being a fan of Telly Savalas is not necessarily the most rewarding prospect. But there are certain minor gems to be found. I came across this film (under its VHS title) in a small used bookstore that takes just about any video you care to bring in. I didn't know anything about it, aside from a vague recollection from Savalas' and Keith Gordon's filmographies on this website.

Telly Savalas (who is Greek like his character) plays a man who left Greece in 1918, and is returning 35 years later in 1953. He left as only a teenager, to make a life for himself in America. After many years, he was successful, and now runs his own restaurant. With his son (played by Keith Gordon), he plans on returning to Greek to visit the small village he left all those years ago. Much of the drama in "Silent Rebellion" revolves around his understanding the culture through only half-accurate memories, and his son's confusion of what really matters in life.

Like most television films, it doesn't reach too far. The direction and cinematography are up to standard - there are simply no surprises there. The writing as well is not particularly deep. But the film looks nice, and the actors give much more than is required of them. Both Gordon and Savalas especially give a lot to their roles. Savalas has so much personal charisma that you can hardly help but love his character. Gordon appeared in this film right between his two biggest roles ("Dressed to Kill" and "Christine"). He later left acting to pursue an impressive career as director.

If you embark on a long search for a copy of this film, the difficulty associated with finding it might create expectations that it simply can't support. I came across it by accident, so I felt no such feelings. It's just a simple, basic story of coming home to Greece, circa 1953. A good watch.

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Author: John Koutsaris from Montreal, Canada
4 December 2011

I was fortunate to meet Telly Savalas in Greece during his filming of this amazing film. This movie is a down-to-earth "family-relationship" film that tells the story of many Greek parents born and raised in Greece that want to share their childhood memories and experiences with their children in the hopes that they will understand and appreciate the different lifestyle that they endured without all the amenities we have today. It depicts the challenge a parent faces when trying to get their child to view something from the parent' point of view. The scenery is original and the story is true. Casual and laid-back, Telly's role as a father and a mentor to his son are touching and alive with meaning. Well done,Telly. We miss you.

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