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Eleanor H. Porter's eternally optimistic "Pollyanna" (Elizabeth Archard) makes an earnest, faithful multi-hour English teleplay. But, faithful adaptations need to take the change of medium into consideration, and this production falters in following the novel rather laboriously. Its long, detailed establishment of characters and events results in some unnecessary dullness.
Note the more well-known versions: 1920's "Pollyanna" (Mary Pickford) translated very nicely into the silent film format, while 1960's "Pollyanna (Hayley Mills) added too much "sugar" (an unnecessary additive, considering this story). And, viewing too much of "Pollyanna" in one sitting is not for the faint of heart - you may want to start out with small doses.
Cheers to Ms. Archard and her young leading man, Stephen Galloway (as Jimmy Bean), as both demonstrate the presence and skill to have had more substantial acting careers. Slightly older Paddy Frost (as Nancy) and Robert Coleby (as Timothy) are also very engaging. Elaine Stritch (as Aunt Polly), Ray McAnally (as John Pendleton), and the location are also worth a look.
***** Pollyanna (10/7-11/11/73) June Wyndham-Davies ~ Elizabeth Archard, Elaine Stritch, Stephen Galloway
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