Mr. North, a stranger to a small, but wealthy, Rhode Island town, quickly has rumors started about him that he has the power to heal people's ailments. The rumors are magnified by his ...
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Mr. North, a stranger to a small, but wealthy, Rhode Island town, quickly has rumors started about him that he has the power to heal people's ailments. The rumors are magnified by his tendency to collect negative charges and give shocks to anyone he touches. In his adventures he befriends an old man who is a shut-in and helps him rediscover the world. Written by
Wealthy patriarch played by Robert Mitchum was intended for John Huston
This picture was a Huston family project. The Director is John Huston's son Danny. His glamorous, versatile half-sister Anjelica has a cameo role that adds pizazz, class and sly humor. The gorgeous Virginia Madsen (John Huston's former daughter-in-law) has a key secondary role. The part of the super-rich patriarch was to be played by John Huston, but he died before the film was made and Robert Mitchum replaced him.
With a screen play based on a Thornton Wilder novel, and a stellar cast, this film should have been better than it was. Still, I enjoyed it very much as just a pleasant upbeat fantasy. It could have been a G-rated family film but for a single brief scene of unnecessary fondling that didn't even seem to fit the boy scout selflessness of Theophilus North's character.
The cast includes stars of old and new Hollywood as well as some whose stardom came from other media, including Tammy Grimes (star of Broadway's "On a Clear Day") and TV's Anthony Edwards (ER's Dr. Mark Greene.) But a couple of the actors deliver some lines as if they are in a script's first read through. Robert Mitchum seems horribly miscast. The part was really tailored for John Huston. While watching the film, before I later learned that the part had been intended for Joun Huston, I commented that the part was perfect for John Huston. While Robert Mitchum was a great film noir tough guy, this was not a role for him.
Lauren Bacall, on the other hand, acquitted herself admirably and Tammy Grimes performance was interesting.
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