Homer is an orphan in remote St. Cloud, Maine. Never adopted, he becomes the favorite of orphanage director Dr. Larch, who imparts his full medical knowledge on Homer, who becomes a skilled, albeit unlicensed, physician. But Homer yearns for a self-chosen life outside the orphanage. When Wally and pregnant Candy visit the orphanage Dr. Larch provides medically safe, albeit illegal, abortions Homer leaves with them to work on Wally's family apple farm. Wally goes off to war, leaving Homer and Candy alone together. What will Homer learn about life and love in the cider house? What of the destiny that Dr. Larch has planned for him? Written by
Martin Lewison <MLewison@utk.edu>
The scenes at the drive-in feature a full cinemascope-sized screen. Cinemascope was not available until 1953. See more »
[Opening narration; a couple of snippets of interspersed dialog are omitted]
Dr. Wilbur Larch:
In other parts of the world young men leave home and travel far and wide in search of a promising future. Their journeys are often fueled by dreams of triumphing over evil, finding a great love, or the hopes of fortunes easily made. Here in St. Cloud's not even the decision to get off the train is easily made, for it requires an earlier, more difficult decision - add a child to your life, or leave one ...
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This is one of my favourite films (if not my favourite), so I cannot be altogether objective, but I must say I find it an eye-opener. It's a lesson on tolerance carried out by a really talented cast and crew.
Everyone fits in his/her role, although the movie is more Maguire's than anyone else's. He's definitely a natural, and while other actors in the business try to impress the audience and make the most to show their talent, Maguire acts with subtlety and thoughtfulness.
The film might seem a bit slow for some people accustomed to more pacey and epic films. However, those who have read the novel will realize just how fast everything goes.
Rachel Portman's score is truly beautiful: probably one of her best.
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