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The Angel Doll (2002)

PG | | Drama | 14 September 2002 (UK)
The story of two small town boys from different sides of the tracks: 1950's childhood and self-redemption. Young "Whitey" Black (so called because of a tuft of blanched hair on the left ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Betsy Brantley ...
Mary Barlow
Beatrice Bush ...
Pearl Cumberland
Noah Roudabush
Gil Johnson ...
Jack Barlow
Col. Brandeis
Cody Newton ...
Whitey Black
Little Jerry Barlow
Fronia Black
Adult Jerry Barlow
Nick Angel ...
Somber Man
Calleigh Crumpler ...
Milkman Woodrow Jones
Christian Durango ...
Randy Clark
Let Cumberland


The story of two small town boys from different sides of the tracks: 1950's childhood and self-redemption. Young "Whitey" Black (so called because of a tuft of blanched hair on the left side of his head) lives in poverty with his single mother and ailing, four-year old sister, Sandy. Just across town, young Jerry Barlow lives the advantages of a middle class lifestyle with both parents and his younger brother. When mischief casts Whitey and Jerry into a shared paper route, Jerry quickly learns of Whitey's desire to buy his sister an angel doll for Christmas. Even though no such dolls exist in their hometown, Whitey, Jerry and a host of colorful characters set out in search of Sandy's gift. Along the way, reversals of fortune, theft, prejudice and, ultimately, the boy's friendship opens their eyes to the vastness of the small town around them. Written by trenton mcdevitt

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 September 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az angyal baba  »

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Did You Know?


This was writer/ director Alexander "Sandy" Johnston's final project. See more »

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User Reviews

Simple Touching Story of Childhood Friendship in 1950 Smalltown America
21 February 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Occasionally marketed as a 'Christmas movie', this film has very little to do with Christmas, except that children can watch it. It was one of only two films written and directed by North Carolinian Alexander Johnston, who died immediately after it was finished, aged only 41. The film is set in Thomasville, North Carolina, in 1950, and much of it is clearly derived from real experiences. Although the film starts slowly and the first few minutes are unexciting, once the film is into its stride, it takes off due to the honesty and integrity of the director, and the marvellous performances he elicits from the two boys whose childhood friendship is portrayed, Cody Newton and Michael Welch. There is a small role for Cody's sister played very well by Lindsey Good, of whom we do not see enough, because she is always in bed with polio. The film is based upon the absolute reign of terror of the polio epidemics in America in the early 1950s, when it was not realized that the virus was transmitted by water, and many children died from it without anyone knowing how they even got the disease. How everything was transformed by the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk later in the decade! The horror and fear were defeated, and terrible stories like this could no longer happen in the Western world. People who were not alive in 1950 cannot possibly imagine the hysteria and terror inspired by polio in America, and how it effected the movements and activities of every child in the country. This is all well documented in this film, and should be required viewing for social and medical historians. Diana Scarwid is wonderful as the hopelessly depressed alcoholic mother of Cody Newton in this bittersweet drama. The story turns on the polio-stricken little girl Sandy's obsession with angels, and her wish for an 'angel doll'. Her brother wishes to buy one for her but cannot find one, then his money is stolen by another boy, but his friend gives him his own money, and the search for the angel doll continues. A friendly black family come to the rescue, and the mother turns an ordinary doll into an angel doll for them. Everything about this charming film, narrated by Keith Carradine who plays the grown-up Michael Welch and remembers what happened in his youth, is delightful, fresh and natural. Really there ought to be more uncomplicated movies like this, which have a point but lack all affectation. Scoffers and sceptics and cynics beware, you watch an honest film like this at your peril!

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The Angel Doll is so the worst film ever made.... cst329
It's on now! hieuanh
The Angel Doll is so the best film ever made, well done Alexander xXxCarriexXx
A must see movie!. linds_26
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