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This TV movie has excellent acting and a sad commentary on senior care facilities. Kirk Douglas plays a retired baseball player who, after a car accident (that kills his wife) is sent to a old folks home by his kids. Once there he suffers just about every indignity you can imagine. Elizabeth Montgomery plays head nurse who would rather kill off the patients than spend the money required to keep them alive. Ms. Montgomery is brilliant in this role. I don't want to give away any plot twists but there are a few. The best scenes in this movie are between stubborn "Amos Lasher" (Kirk) and "Daisy Daws" (Liz) who butt heads more than once. Dorothy McGuire gives a touching performance as a lonely woman who falls for Amos. Not only good drama but a movie with a social message as well regarding the treatment of our senior citizens.
AMOS was a surprisingly effective TV-movie which owes a lot to ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, but stands on its own as competent little shocker. Kirk Douglas, who ironically starred in CUCKOO'S NEST on Broadway, plays the title role here, a cantankerous senior citizen who finds himself committed to a senior citizens facility that is run by an iron-fisted nurse (Elizabeth Montgomery)who Amos suspects is over stepping the bounds of her authority by physically abusing the clients and robbing them of their life savings. Stanley Gordon West's strong teleplay is an asset,but what makes this film sizzle is the cat and mouse game between Amos and the head nurse, who Montgomery bone-chillingly brings to life in one of her best performances, burying her Samantha Stephens image forever. Strong support is also provided by screen veterans Dorothy McGuire, Pat Morita, and Ray Walston but it is the Emmy-nominated performances by Douglas and Montgomery that are the main selling points here. It's no CUCKOO'S NEST, but it is an entertaining second cousin.
OK, so "Amos" is in many ways the same sort of idea as "One Flew Over
the Cuckoo's Nest", but it's still worth seeing. Kirk Douglas plays
elderly Amos Lasher, who loses his wife in a car wreck. He gets sent to
a retirement home run by nurse Daisy Daws (Elizabeth Montgomery). But
as it becomes clear that Daisy is not a nice gal, Amos becomes more
desperate about what to do.
Probably the movie's most interesting aspect is the casting of Elizabeth Montgomery. When she first appears, she's putting on her nurse outfit (she actually looks mighty fine wearing those stockings). When she first greets Kirk Douglas, here we basically see a slightly older version of Samantha Stephens, but with just a hint of malice in her eyes. As the movie progresses, you might say that Samantha becomes more and more like Endora...an evil Endora, that is.
So, this isn't any kind of masterpiece; "OFOTCN" did a better job with this topic. But it's good to see that these folks still had it no matter their age, and to see the big screen's most famous gladiator meet the small screen's most famous witch (and she's a REAL witch here). Also starring Dorothy McGuire (of "Gentleman's Agreement"), Pat Morita (of the "Karate Kid" movies) and Ray Walston (Mr. Hand in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High").
This movie isn't the greatest ever, but it's good if you're bored and happen to have it around. Elizabeth Montgomery is (as usual) wonderful in her role, although decidedly evil. Don't see this movie the same way I did, while waiting to go in for day surgery. Daisy is one nurse you do not want looking after you!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched it on a french channel years ago. I searched for it since.
And was finally rewarded. What a film. I don't know any movie about
retirement homes for elders. I guess there are somewhere. And I am not
sure they would be better than this one. OK, every one thinks of ONE
FLEW OVER A COCOO NEST, that took place in an insane asylum. OK, Milo's
Forman's film is more magnificent. Speaking of it, Kirk Douglas played
it on stage, back in the seventies. So may be that explains why he
accepted this TV feature.
Elizabeth Montgomery is here as her best as the evil female manager, as Louise Fletcher was in ONE FLEW...
The opposite characters between Douglas and Montgomery are tremendous. A poignant and painful story which my father was particularly sensitive about before he himself went to a retirement home...Unless to say that he was not excited to go to it.
Kirk Douglas plays the title role in made for television film Amos, a
film where he finally transitions into playing senior citizens which he
would do the rest of his career. Who knows, at 96 he might yet have
another role in him.
After losing his wife and home in a tragedy, Douglas is forced into a nursing home run by Elizabeth Montgomery. The sweet and wholesome Samantha Stevens gives way to Nurse Ratched's mentor Daisy Dawes. She runs the home with a corrupt iron hand. She encourages the staff to be cruel and vicious to the residents if they make a complaint.
The infirmities of old age are truly explored in this film. Douglas is a former athletic coach and presumably in good shape. But even he's a victim of the staff and Montgomery.
Such familiar faces as Pat Morita, Ray Walston, and Dorothy McGuire are other residents who Douglas sacrifices for to bring them respect and justice.
Abuses of senior citizen homes was a hot topic back in those times and Amos was both timely and entertaining. Kirk was great in the part, but the real revelation in this film was how evil Liz Montgomery could play.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kirk Douglas is Amos Lasher, a man who's married and retired and enjoying home life. That is, until he has a car accident, which kills his wife, left him with a broken hip and with little to no money to pay for an operation, recovery, etc. He lost his house and has to go to a rest home for recovery. Little does he know, t.l.c. is the last thing on the mind of Head Nurse Daisy Dawes, played by Elizabeth Montgomery, who plays her role to the hilt. And, Ms. Montgomery gets a very fulfilling send-off for the viewer to enjoy. Fans of Ms. Montgomery, myself included, will love her performance and wish more of her TV movies and work can be found on DVD. I had to find this on VHS. On a entertainment level, this is a very good movie with great actors who know their business, including Ray Walston and Dorothy McGuire. But, the movie takes its entertainment from an otherwise very sobering subject matter, which may be too disturbing and real for some people watching, especially when the viewer might have a parent in a rest home, subjected to such treatment. If you can watch a movie about a rest home, then this is one to see, which is similar to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which was produced by Michael Douglas, the son of Kirk Douglas, the star of this. Kirk's Amos Lasher is a survivor and a fighter and will not go quietly....
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