Eight year old Billy Reilly is trying to find someone important to write about for an essay contest on a great person. The contest is sponsored by a sports shop, with a baseball glove as the winning prize. In a discussion while Billy is trying to think about who to write, the local librarian makes Billy expand his search from the types of people who are generally written about in books, to people that Billy may encounter every day that do important things. Regardless, Billy still has troubles finding a subject. It isn't until an incident that happens to him during a pickup baseball game in a back lot and a seemingly unrelated discussion with his policeman father at home later that day that makes Billy choose his subject, and view that person in a different light than he has done before. Those incidents in combination also make Billy change his focus from trying to win a baseball glove to highlighting what he sees and what he hopes others will see through his essay as the greatness of ... Written by
This entry of John Nesbitt's Passing Parade deals with a young boy (Dean Stockwell with an awesome head of hair) having to write an essay on "a really important person." Who he eventually decides to write about is telegraphed immediately in the opening narration. My favorite scene was an early one with Dean in the library. He's trying his hardest to make an essay on John Paul Jones work but he just can't. Slowly the camera pulls back to reveal a bald old man (Chick York) sitting next to him. The old man says "What's the matter? Don't you like great men of the 18th century?" I have to admit I burst out laughing at this odd scene. It goes on and the old man convinces Dean to look closer to home for important people. This is a charming old short with some moments that are funnier now than they were intended at the time. Stockwell was an excellent child actor. One of the best. It's also nice to see the great Connie Gilchrist as his mother. Oh, and the old man appears again at the essay reading. He smiles and nods happily as he hears the words he told the boy read aloud. Yes, again I laughed. Overall, it's a pleasant ten minutes so check it out if you get the chance.
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