A boy, Buddy, whose parents have split and whose mother is an actress in New York, has been dumped in the south at the small-town home of some older cousins, all of whom are unmarried. ...
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A boy, Buddy, whose parents have split and whose mother is an actress in New York, has been dumped in the south at the small-town home of some older cousins, all of whom are unmarried. Buddy brings life to the house and develops a close friendship with one of the older, simpler ladies, Sook. Buddy and Sook undertake many adventures together, including the baking of 31 fruit-cakes which they give as Christmas presents, even mailing them to President and Mrs. Roosevelt and Jean Harlowe! Just before Christmas, one of the older cousins begins to wonder if it is best for Buddy to be living with them... Written by
Jeff Hole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Great performances in a film about deep friendship
"A Christmas Memory" is based on a 1956 short story of the same title by Truman Capote. Capote grew up in the South and in New York, and much of his work reflects personal experiences of his past. This story is autobiographical in most details. It's based on Capote's 1956 short story by the same title, published in Mademoiselle magazine. It is a heart- warming story about the special friendship and closeness of a young boy with an elderly cousin.
The story takes place in the early 1930s. Capote (nee, Truman Persons) was born in New Orleans in 1924, and when he was four his parents divorced. He was then sent to Monroeville, AL, to live with his mother's Faulk cousins. They raised him for the next four to five years, and in 1933 he moved to New York City to live with his mother who had married a textile broker, Joseph Capote. There's more interesting and traumatic background to the young writer who would become one of America's best writers in the 20th century. Capote wrote novels, short stories, plays and screenplays. His greatest achievement was the non-fiction novel, "In Cold Blood," in 1965. Many of his short stories and books have been made into movies. Among the most memorable are "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "The Grass Harp."
This film takes place one fall through the Christmas holidays when Capote was living with the Faulks. He had developed a deep relationship and friendship with cousin Nanny Rumbley Faulk. The family called her Sook, as the seven-year-old Buddy does in this film. While living with the Faulks in Alabama, Capote became friends with a neighbor, Harper Lee, who became a well-known author herself ("To Kill a Mockingbird"). In this film, Buddy befriends a neighbor girl, Rachel, played by Julia McIlvaine. Both of these characters in the film, Buddy and Rachel, are quite the storytellers. They have vivid imaginations and tell some tall tales.
Everything about this TV movie is excellent. The sets, scenery, camera work and direction are very good. And the performances are excellent. Patty Duke is superb as Sook, and a young Eric Lloyd gives a sterling performance as seven-year-old Buddy. The principals in the rest of the cast all give wonderful performances. Piper Laurie is Jennie, Jeffrey Demunn is Seabone, Anita Gilette is Callie, and Esther Scott is Anna Stabler.
It may be a stretch to call this a Christmas movie. It's a drama that takes place in December and much of the action of Sook and Buddy is in preparation for Christmas. The film explains why this young lad is in the care of distant relatives, all of whom are beyond middle age. All three of the elders love Buddy. But, the heart and soul of this story is one person, Sook. That Buddy comes into her life at a young age, and is able to be a part of her life for a time is the filling out of a story of lasting friendship.
This is a good film that the whole family should enjoy. Just be aware that the ending is not a typical one where everyone is happy. Neither is it tragic. Just know that it's different a getting on in life. For Truman Capote, death came early at age 59. His autopsy revealed intoxication from multiple drugs, and he had liver disease and phlebitis.
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