A tiny alien lands in the small town Aurora in Texas in the times of the Wild West. He flies around in his spaceship and checks out everything. While the kids are fascinated, their parents ... See full summary »
An abandoned old show boat is moored in a lazy creek. The Our Gang put the old vessel back to use when they stage a show featuring "Darla's Dancin' Dandies" and a "meller dramer" entitled "... See full summary »
A tiny alien lands in the small town Aurora in Texas in the times of the Wild West. He flies around in his spaceship and checks out everything. While the kids are fascinated, their parents are rather sceptic and afraid. Ms. Peabels, teacher and new owner of the local paper, smells a good story and brings the alien into the headlines. When the governor hears of the rumors he sends a ranger to take action. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Every Now and Then There Are Encounters That Change Us Forever.
In the small Texas town of Aurora in the late-19th Century a tiny man (Mickey Hayes) seemingly fell out of the sky. This sets the tone for really the first legitimately-recorded UFO encounter in the U.S. (this is all supposedly based on a true story) as it seems the little man literally flew around in a small craft and was sent to this planet for some unknown reason. The children are entranced by the little fellow, the townspeople are a little frightened and the fright will ultimately lead to a sad tragedy as misunderstanding and prejudice will come into play. Hayes, unable to speak and harmless, meets old hermit Jack Elam (also somewhat an outcast in the small community) as all this transpires and they start a genuinely wonderful friendship as the two apparent opposites seem to have so much in common. "The Aurora Encounter" is one of those films that just seems to stick with me. The bond between Hayes (who suffered in real-life from a disease called Progeria, an illness which made him literally age about four to five times faster than everyone else) and Jack Elam is one of those cinematically magical experiences that I have a hard time explaining. Hayes, only 14 at the time of this film's release, would indeed die in the early-1990s (living to be only 20) from his horrible disease. This is the only film he ever worked on and his obvious kindness and the sympathy the audience feels for him is definitely undeniable. With all this said, "The Aurora Encounter" is still only an average film by the end. It succumbs to cinematic clichés and an unintentional mean-spirit that did not completely endear it with me. Elam (doing probably the best work of his long career) ultimately gets somewhat wasted because of other performers who really have no business in the movies. The direction is up and down and the screenplay is never sure what it wants to be. The movie just never really found an audience when released in 1986 and just became a very small footnote from the decade. If nothing else though, "The Aurora Encounter" should be watched for the scenes where Elam and Hayes are together playing checkers. As ho-hum as the movie is, the time when they are together on the screen is really something to embrace. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
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