Set in Edwardian England where upper lips are always stiff and men from the Colonies are not entirely to be trusted, Fisk Senior has little time or affection for his son, but when the pair visit an eccentric Indian, they start a strange journey that eventually allows the old man to find his heart.
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Each Thursday, a man approaching middle age calls upon his father, aged, caustic, nihilistic, and emotionally distant, perhaps from the loss of a son in the Boer War and his wife soon after. On this day, the son suggests they attend a visiting guru's lecture on the transmigration of souls. There they chat with a vicar and a soldier of fortune; dinner follows. Over glasses of Hungarian Tokay, the vicar, Dean Spanley, tells a story of friendship, freedom, and reincarnation. In what earthly way could this tale connect father and son? Written by
Peter O'Toole said the use of comedy to explore the relationship between a father and son was part of what attracted him to the film. He remarked: "All of us had difficult familial relationships. I think it's a film for all of us who understand the relationship between a father and son. It's been interesting watching various members of the crew looking at the monitors during scenes. They come up to me then and say "I had the same thing with my father." See more »
We found Dean Spanley by surfing Comcast On Demand and were delighted by this witty, thought-provoking and emotional film. It's based on a story by Lord Dunsany, a writer who "imaginatively transforms materials from The Arabian Nights, classical mythology, Celtic, Germanic, and Hindu folklore as well as from medieval lays and quest romances." The cast is amazing for a New Zealand film, the script is excellent, the acting is superb and the climactic scene is totally gripping for all that it takes place in a dinner-table conversation. American film makers should take note of how this is done -- but they won't. Peter O'Toole should get an Oscar for his performance as Fisk Senior -- but he won't. We should all be able to see more movies like Dean Spanley -- but I'm not holding my breath. Don't let that keep you from enjoying this terrific movie. Four enthusiastic thumbs-up for Dean Spanley. (Dean is a title, not a name.)
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