In late 1955 and early 1956, the citizens of Boise, Idaho believed there was a menace in their midst. On Halloween, investigators arrested three men on charges of having sex with teenage ...
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In late 1955 and early 1956, the citizens of Boise, Idaho believed there was a menace in their midst. On Halloween, investigators arrested three men on charges of having sex with teenage boys. The investigators claimed the arrests were just the tip of the iceberg-they said hundreds of boys were being abused as part of a child sex ring. There was no such ring, but the result was a widespread investigation which some people consider a witch hunt. By the time the investigation ended, 16 men were charged. Countless other lives were also touched.In some cases, men implicated fled the area. At least one actually left the country. The investigation attracted attention in newspapers across the nation, including Time Magazine. The "Morals Drive" left scars which remain to this day. Written by
If there is a worthwhile story to be told about the events in Boise in 1955, it's obscured by this movie's incompetence. It seems like an uninspired parody of Ken Burns's formulaic and pretentious historical documentaries for PBS, in which a disembodied narrator reads from contemporary sources (in this case, a single Boise newspaper) and follows each reading with the name of the source.
When the source is almost always the same source, that already tiresome formula quickly becomes unbearable - like the second or third time this narrator solemnly says "The Evening Standard" (or whatever its name was) after reading from the newspaper for about 10 seconds. By the time he'd said the same three words the same way a dozen or more times I was ready to pull my hair out. I was no longer able even to listen to what he was reading from the paper, because I knew that another horrible "The Evening Standard" was only seconds away.
But he's only one of this movie's several unseen narrators. That man reads the bits from the newspaper, but another narrator, the one who fills in most of the gaps between his readings from the paper, is a woman who is even worse than he is. The first time she pronounced "escape" as if it were spelled "excape", I had to do an instant replay because I couldn't believe my ears; but there it was.
At least this movie doesn't use the other even more annoying gimmick that's practically universal in historical documentaries now, which is the dramatic reenactment of historical events. I really can't stand those dumbed-down reenactments, as if we would never believe that the Declaration of Independence was signed unless we saw bad actors doing it on TV.
This movie doesn't have those, but I'm pretty sure it would if the producers had had the money for D-list actors and chintzy sets and costumes. The western world is now populated by people who can't grasp anything unless they see it acted out on TV, the more like a soap opera the better. The entire 8+ hours of HBO's silly John Adams miniseries was like that, and people loved it.
I may follow another reviewer's excellent suggestion and read the book on which this incompetent movie is based (John Gerassi's The Boys of Boise: Furor, Vice and Folly in an American City). I'd rather read on my own than be read to by an idiot who evidently thinks I've forgotten where he got the stuff he reads and has to remind me every ten seconds.
Or I may just leave Boise in its petty, ignorant past and get on with my own life. I'm certainly not learning anything about the town from this movie, except that it has the worst newspaper in the United States.
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