Continuing the story of Aurora Greenway in her latter years. After the death of her daughter, Aurora struggled to keep her family together, but has one grandson in jail, a rebellious ... See full summary »
The night he retires as a Nevada sheriff, Jerry Black pledges to the mother of a murdered girl that he will find the killer. Jerry doesn't believe the police arrested the right man; he discovers this is the third incident in the area in the recent past with victims young, blond, pretty, and small for their age. So he buys an old gas station in the mountains near the crimes in order to search for a tall man who drives a black station wagon, gives toy porcupines as gifts, and calls himself the wizard: clues from a drawing by the dead girl. Jerry's solitary life gives way to friendship with a woman and her small, blond daughter. Has Jerry neglected something that may prove fatal? Written by
The photograph of Jack Nicholson's character as a younger man is the same one used in the Shining. See more »
When Jerry is driving through the fences in the field, the window trim is damaged and the side mirror is turned inwards. However in the last scene but one, the car loses all its battle damage and the mirror is again straight. Not only that, but the big "cowcatcher" also disappears and the sunroof which previously was closed, is now open. As Jerry comes to a halt at the church, everything is as it should be. See more »
Reviewers failed to recognize implausible psychology of the cop. The police inspector in the novel, according to the review in "Sight and Sound," simply wanted to catch the big fish and showed little feeling for the child he used as bait. Such a character is too repellent to make a movie about, so the movie version "humanizes" the character by making him become attached to the mother and child, and indicates that he is concerned that the monster will kill another child. This concern would place him in a moral dilemma: should he use the child as bait in order to prevent the monster from killing more children? The movie does not deal with this: it presents him as subject to a compulsion or something of the sort, which is not interesting. Inner conflict is not shown and his behavior is not explained. His evidence would have to be very strong to compel him to use the little girl as bait, and the other cops would never have joined his crazy scheme, for at least three reasons: first, they didn't accept his suspicions; secondly, no one with children would consider putting a child at risk; and thirdly, if the trap had resulted in harm to the little girl, they would all have had to move to another planet. The mom showed up and said, "How could you do this?," which is what the other cops would have said. Some reviews saw the cop's journey as a "descent into madness", which is about as good as you can do with it, I guess, but it just makes the cop crazy instead of evil. The movie does not illuminate or deal with the psychological or moral issues, which is to say the makers were in over their heads.
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