Julie, a lonely fourteen year old girl, moves to Manzanita, an Oregon seaside town, from Los Angeles after her writer father, Robert, loses his job. Her family, including mother Kathryn and... See full summary »
Julie, a lonely fourteen year old girl, moves to Manzanita, an Oregon seaside town, from Los Angeles after her writer father, Robert, loses his job. Her family, including mother Kathryn and older sister Susan, has trouble adjusting to life in a small town. Julie parents struggle with her father's unemployment and her sister, Susan, finds solace in a summer fling with Tom, a not-to-bright local logger. The story opens with a 16th century Spanish sailors landing their launch on the beach of Manzanita. They carry a treasure chest up Neahkahnie Mountain, leading a manacled black slave. The treasure is buried and the slave killed and laid on top of the ground to "guard" the treasure and frighten the Indians away. Back in present day, Julie has a dramatic encounter with a large Roosevelt Elk on the beach. Its hooves uncover an old Spanish gold coin in the sand. The Elk becomes Julie's silent, watchful guide and protector as she becomes fascinated by the legend of the Tillamook Treasure and ... Written by
The story begins with a mystical elk on the beach running at Julie and jumping over her. The scene's genesis was in a real event. One summer, when Suzanne Marie and Janine Doyon were just toddlers, they were on the Manzanita beach with their mother, director Jane Beaumont Hall. The children were a hundred feet away playing in the sand. Suddenly, from out of nowhere a huge Roosevelt Elk came running down the beach straight for the girls. "There was nothing I could do," says Hall. "Time stood still as I saw the Elk run towards the girls and then suddenly swerve around them. The elk ran into the ocean and swam out past the breakers. It was an amazing experience. I don't think I had time to be scared for the girls and the elk was such a magnificent creature." Hall remembered that scene when she and Richard Doyon wrote the screenplay. Both the elk on the beach and the elk swimming in the ocean were written into the script. See more »
When Julie is first getting ready to go out she is seen putting on black vans shoes. then after she climbs out the window with the vans on she is seen walking to the woods with sandals on. the next time we see her she is crossing a creek and she has the vans on again. See more »
Poor fantasy-action flick of an interesting legend
Having lived in Oregon, I am familiar with the legend of the Tillamook gold. I also trekked over, up, down and around Neahkahnie Mountain several times. But I wasn't looking for treasure. It is part of the Oregon Coast Range and has some wonderful hiking trails. They wind through rain forest, along deep woods ridges, and along paths that lead to outstanding views of the Oregon Coast from up high. The coast highway, U.S. 101 runs through Oswald West State Park that encompasses the mountain. The town of Manzanita is below the most spectacular view that includes Nehalem Bay and Tillamook Bay in the distance.
The premise for this story could lead to the making of a good film. But, unfortunately, this one falls far short. The script jumps all over the place, and there's little coherence in the plot. The acting is fair by some of the cast, but Suzanne Doyon in the lead role as Julie is flat. Too many diversions and subplots are in this. The attempted humor with Richard Doyon and Mary Stein, playing Clyde and Billie Stahl, misfires throughout. The family problems and subplots only add to the incoherence of the plot and distractions from the story.
My four stars are for the scenery, the location shots, and the exploration of the legend that dates to the early 17th century. Unlike the implication of this movie, the treasure has never been found. That is, to anyone's knowledge. But some people believe it may have been found in the early 1800s by Thomas McKay. If he found it, he never let on that he did; but this outcome has considerable credence because McKay disappeared for a time after looking for the treasure, and then appeared years later in Oregon, independently wealthy.
At best, this is a fair movie about a search for treasure. But it gets sidetracked so often that it's hard to sit through. It seemed much longer than its 107 minutes. Only the most avid treasure enthusiasts may find this film of enough interest to sit through the whole thing.
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