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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 well worth the investment just to see Falk doing what he does best, creating a character who has a history far beyond the spoken words. Robert Wise directs with an eye toward showing us people behaving in natural and very human ways. (Just watch Ruby Dee's short scene in the bus station with her grandson.) The Rod Serling teleplay shows its age with Serling's penchant for inserting a moral in each moment. And yet, it all goes down smoothly. No surprises, no major revelations. Just a reaffirmation of what we all know to be true.
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