I loved THE CRACKER MAN. It's a terrific, leisurely-paced 'tweener' film--too long to be a short, too short to be a feature. When it was over, my wife and I were wonderfully satisfied--and we wanted more.
It's the Fourth of July in the Depression-impoverished Deep South, and Gloria (Ashley Crow, in a star-making performance) is getting her Grandpa (Patrick Cranshaw), a frail but feisty Civil War Veteran, ready for his 100th birthday party that night. It'll be an intimate affair at their run-down farm--just the two of them, they're alone in the world. Gloria is looking for something really special (that she can afford, which isn't much) for Grandpa's Centennial, and she finds it from a likeable stranger named Hank (John Dossett) who's hawking fireworks by the roadside. They strike a deal for a 'custom-made pyrotechnic display' at the farm that night.
The one-hour running time delivers a gorgeous 30's Southern ambience and resonant, rich performances by the three principal actors. It's got fierce tenderness, humor, irony, and simple human decency--a family film. It's a gem.
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