Handsome Korean war veteran Jerry Shand gets a particularly enthusiastic welcome in his country home town because of a picture in Life magazine of him as Marilyn Monroe's driver during her ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jerry Shand
...
Vesta Lotte Battle
...
Leslie
...
Sam
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Claire Gundry
Rebecca Koon ...
Zella Shand
Bob King ...
Juel Shand (as Robert King)
Allan Gurganus ...
Professor Title
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Don Cahoun
Helen Alexander ...
White Woman in Church
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Mrs. Grundy
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Mr. Grundy
...
Sandy (as L.B. Straten)
Robby Preddy ...
Randa Orvilson
Michael Flannery ...
Cecil
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Storyline

Handsome Korean war veteran Jerry Shand gets a particularly enthusiastic welcome in his country home town because of a picture in Life magazine of him as Marilyn Monroe's driver during her visit to the troops. Laundretet daughter Leslie waited for fiancé Jerry faithfully, but now he has a scholarship he's seduced at college by spoiled, fickle factory heiress Claire Gundry. To pay for his studies, father being disabled, he hopes his looks will pay off as salesman, but fails bitterly with Life Magazine. So he transfers to Sam's funeral insurances, where the profit is in canceling every account failing to pay up in consecutive weeks, but feels guilty and covers for some slum clients. Written by KGF Vissers

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Drama

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17 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blessed Assurance  »

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User Reviews

Failed attempt at comment and nostalgia.
13 February 2002 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

It's not hard to see the maker of "Last Picture Show" in this one. There's even a scene set in a movie theater foyer with fifties titles by celebrity directors represented on the posters. However, the message that we grew up surrounded by a generation who didn't share our own sensitivity, is presented without the skill to make us believe it or want to believe it.

The heart on the sleeve sentiments are so predictable that we start wishing Korea veteran Show would go to medical school and get it on with with the vampy blonde piece whose daddy owns the cotton mill where his own daddy caught an industrial disease, instead of the childhood sweetheart whose family laundry he looks like he'll end up managing. This plot didn't fly all that well when it was Richard Barthlemess and Bette Davis in "Cabin in the Cotton."

The production values are good, setting the place in the racially exploitative American South, where our hero sells funeral insurance to the black poor, but the characters who front it are totally stock, despite the efforts of performers like George Wendt, to give them some dimension. Cicely Tyson is very brave trying to be a saintly, toothless, granny but, with her record, she should have known better.

Surprisingly it's Show, breaking free of the limitations of sex series soap, who manages to make the central character's conflict between his back ground, his ambition and his understanding of the unjust system he's supposed to continue, plausible, shaded and even despite the writing, quite involving.


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