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Joan Micklin Silver
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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
This is a movie I had read about in my TV and movie guides, got curious about, and today watched the 2000 version. A real gem. Not surprising, when you consider it was originally created by the legendary Rod Serling. Peter Falk is masterful as the curmudgeonly deli owner. His fancy-free cousin (Andrew McCarthy) meets Nastassja Kinski at a country club, and agrees to adopt a city kid for a few weeks of fresh air and fishing. Kinski tries to explain the situation to Falk, but he will have none of it. The next thing you know, little Herman Washington has arrived at the bus station. But of course, McCarthy has to zip off to Atlantic City, leaving Herman with the testy uncle. How it unfolds is a work of wonder. Falk meets his philosophical match, while still fondly remembering his own son, fallen in war. They enjoy some perilous fishing, and also manage to maintain dignity over the country-club set. If you aren't moved by this personal character drama, you had better check yourself for a heartbeat! Three and a half stars.
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