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An old Jewish shop owner Mr. Shaddick ('Peter Falk') suddenly finds himself responsible for a little black boy named Herman Washington ('Aaron Meek') trying to escape the chaos of Harlem as part of a sponsorship program. At first, Mr. Shaddick wants nothing more than to get rid of the kid, but to spite the well to do lady who tries to take him over to her home, he decides to take Herman in. As time goes on, Mr. Shaddick finds himself caring about Herman and has the misfortune of being the bearer of bad news, which reminds him of when he received a telegram himself. Written by
Seldom do you see such a good drama dealing with such heartbreak and emotion without it being filled to the brink with sap. Possibly even more rare, this is a TV-movie that elicits more emotion and has far better direction than many theatrical films, even some of the better ones. Peter Falk once again proves his immense talent with a character far from his portrayal of Columbo. The plot is very good, and as far as I know, quite original(keeping in mind that this is a remake). The pacing is unusually good for a made-for-TV film. The cast is excellent, as is the acting. Peter Falk... what is there really to say? With his talent and charisma, he makes even this character interesting, even though, in the beginning, is almost a modern-day Scrooge, with his hatred for just about everyone and everything. He makes us care about this old man and see through the facade, something very few actors can do, and look at the man underneath, the reason behind the hate. Aaron Meeks, I am impressed. Very few child actors do so well on their first try. The dialog has some truly memorable lines. The film deals with racism and hate in a very good way. It also shows that a big wallet does not mean a big heart. The script is good, and has some new ideas, though the very basis of it is pretty much the typical 'two people from two different worlds' plot. This is one everyone should at least consider watching. I recommend this to fans of dramas and particularly fans of Peter Falk. 8/10
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