Reviews written by registered user
|25 reviews in total|
After waiting years to see Hatful of Rain as they didn't show it on TCM
until the 90's or so, I fell in love with the film.
Then I heard about the lesser shown "Monkey on My Back". Finally got to see it - wasn't disappointed. Similar story line. Men go into the service come back addicted to drugs.
Cameron Mitchell's portrayal of an addict is believable. A man that is afraid of nothing, lives life each day for the moment and doesn't worry about the future. Spends and lives lavishly but falls in love whole heartedly.
Unfortunately his love/need for drugs exceeds his love for his girlfriend/wife. You feel for him and his family but know the end result.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't know what to expect when I chose this film, but figured how
could I go wrong with TWO screen legends in the twilight of their
I wasn't disappointed. As always, Gregory Peck plays the perfect picture of a true gentleman, and Lauren Bacall a true lady. Together, they are a great couple.
The film begins with him alone on the lake and her calling out to him, keeping an eye on his every step. We wonder why she is so on top of him, but as the picture progresses we see why she is so concerned.
Their daughter, played by his real daughter, is an artist who's career is hedging on her finishing "the portrait" of her parents who can't sit still for more than 10 minutes. She comes home to find that they sold the house to move to their smaller summer home and the movie centers around the changes that have and will take place.
There are some sad moments, Gregory Peck in the hospital, but these moments are not all dark. Humor is dispersed throughout and Lauren Bacall is great as a bossy, take charge woman. Watch her telling the moving men what to do and haggling with the thrift store owner.
While, I don't think the film received a lot of recognition, it is worth watching. You have humor, sadness and truth all rolled into one. Everyone can relate to their parents getting older.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like many of the other commenters, I finally got a copy of this VHS
after my original went bad. I too, never forgot this movie and how
strong the story line was and the emotion it made you feel.
It starts out with the Jackson family having a picnic and the mother looking like she's in pretty bad health. Soon after she is rushed to the hospital, but it is too late - she is too far gone. Due to her religious beliefs, she refused prior medical help.
Her husband, being left with 4 young boys, tries to procure some type of financial aid or a temporary babysitter. He goes to the local government office, where after being repeatedly told the children would be better off in foster care - they agree to give him a babysitter on a temporary basis. Coming home from work, he finds his boys outside, locked out because they are not allowed in when a man is inside.
That issue is immediately resolved but Elmer Jackson has a quick temper and is very free with his hands. After physically throwing the man and woman out, we are taken to the Welfare office where charges are made against Mr. Jackson for physical abuse against the babysitter in addition, she rants that he is crazy and his kids are out of control. The children are immediately taken away. They are placed in the hospital's isolation unit where Mr. Jackson creates a huge ruckus, coming in knocking things over and yelling. He is physically removed and barred from the hospital, appearing in court thereafter. The boys are placed in what looks like a nice foster home for 9 months and are allowed a visit after the 9 month period passes. Mr. Jackson, armed with gifts shows up and the boys are overjoyed. However the youngest, automatically walks to the car to go home whereby all the boys state the same desire. So off they go and the foster mother notifies the Police. They are stopped and Mr. Jackson again displays his temper and is beaten by the cop once again going to court.
Three of boys are put in a place where the administrator says they "should have been from the beginning, where boys like them belong". It is a home for the mentally retarded. Which based on the time this took place, you can imagine the prison like conditions.
They plan an escape but are picked up by the Police and brought back. The goon in charge makes sure that they will not run away again. The youngest boy is not put in there due to his age. After suffering years of mental and physical abuse, the boys are notably severely scarred.
Elmer Jackson by this time met a good woman, has a child with her, has his own business and builds his own house and is now able to work on getting the boys back.
The youngest is first - he is distrusting and scornful. The middle two are next and both look like they are mentally damaged after leaving the home for the Retarded. The last one is trickier due to the fact that he is in a State Run facility and needs special papers to release him.
The day Elmer Jackson is told this, his son is to undergo sterilization and not allowed visitors. Elmer leaves without his son even knowing he was there. A doctor noted earlier that he did not think the boy in their care was retarded and keeps an eye on his file. He pursues the case, befriends him and is able to find Elmer. That being said, he takes the boy home to his family and everyone surrounds him - hugging - kissing and not letting go. Given the difficulties the boys had to endure, it is amazing that in the end, they turned out to be normal again.
I was left to wonder that if each time Elmer lost his temper, maybe if he kept a cooler head maybe things would have gone a little different. But then we wouldn't have a movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the best CBS Saturday morning movies along with "Hand in Hand".
A simple film about two boys. One chubby and one thin. The chubby boy is ridiculed by his classmates - when he is introduced and goes to share a desk, he almost bumps "Skinny" right out of his seat. That's the first heartwarming/wrenching part and the beginning of their friendship.
Because Komatsu is big, he has trouble with the gymnastics but Skinny helps him out, encouraging him. One day they are approached by a group of boys on the way home from school and beaten up - another time they have to run from a dog on the way home from school. All things we can relate to.
Komatsu's family is well off, living in a nice home with plenty to eat. Skinny lives with his mom and younger sibling in a poor section of town - the dad is off working in another part of the country.
When Skinny's mom tells him they are moving away to be closer to their father, he has to tell Komatsu. I can't remember if he told him or gave the message to his family. But I remember Skinny calling "Komatsu" over and over again towards the end. I don't know why but I think it had something to do with him being able to do something that he couldn't do before.
This is such a beautiful film - I think adults born in the late 50's early 60's would appreciate it more than children today. Especially since it is in Black and White with such a primitive film feel to it. These were bare bones, on location movies with nothing added. The countrysides and everything is real.
Filmed in bombed out Germany's U.S. zone, the film gives us a realness
that makes the picture. The chilling narrative describing the ills that
the war caused play over the camera panning the ruins and destruction
When Montgomery Clift (Steve) tries to pick up a shoeless, homeless,
hungry boy (Jim)- it's the beginning of a heartbreaking/heartwarming
The boy comes to live with Clift and his army buddy where Clift tries every source possible to see if the boys mother is still alive. He teaches him English thru photo's and drawings. His definition of a "tomatoe" is especially sweet. However, when the boy asks Clift, "Steve, what's a mother"? It breaks your heart. Clift tries to describe a mother, while Jim starts remembering bits and pieces from his past.
When an army family needs the house they are living in, Clift has return to the U.S. leaving the boy to a service for orphaned children all the while hoping to bring him home and adopt him.
A woman, who has "searched" from town to town, across borders, tirelessly winds up in this orphaned service after she collapses from exhaustion. The matron in charge insists on her staying to help with the children as she is so good with them.
It is only through timing while you are sitting on the edge of your seat, that you are rewarded at the end.
Never get tired of watching this film.
It starts out like the original Imitation of Life where Louise Beavers
shows up at Claudette Colbert's house looking for a job, but in this
case it's Fay Bainter trying to sell her apple peelers on a cold,
windy, snowy day in dreary Indiana. The film is very realistic in its
portrayal of the weather, making you feel cold and depressed. When the
lady of the house invites her in to get warm and Hannah sees the
disorder in the kitchen, she(like Louise Beavers) sees a perfect
opportunity to get a job with room and board.
Offering to save the family money (she sees immediately they are struggling), they take her offer and come to love her like family. She comes up with ideas like selling their old useless furniture for cash, gives Claude Rains a spot in the basement to work in peace on his experiments (he is a professor by day and an inventor by night). She is wise and has the instinct to know when something is going to go wrong trying to save the family whatever heartache she can.
When Jackie Cooper (spoiled rich boy) takes a job as Rains assistant, it is the beginning of his life changing him into a fine young man. Only by accident does he cause Rains harm thru an error of judgment. But justice prevails, as Hannah tells Rains to turn the other cheek and go on.
Hannah stumbling upon this house at a time when they are in need of help provides her the opportunity to get what she came for. That being said - all is well at the end. When you see her walking off in the snowy storm, the same way she came in, one cannot help but feel sorry for her - hoping that she would turn around and stay, but doing so would cause her too much pain. Like some of the other poster's, I taped this out of curiosity, and wound glued for the entire film. Definitely a keeper.
Blurb in the TCM on line guide said Brando as a translator tried to
thwart Glenn Ford's intentions but that is not true. Brando and his
people are genius in getting the U.S. military (via Ford and later
Eddie Albert) to get what they want in their village, not what the U.S.
was to build.
Brando in full make-up and faux Japanese speech is hilarious. He is good natured and really does help Ford adapt but just twists things a bit to go his way (or the town's way).
Glenn Ford feels he is a failure at everything he has done and wants this to be his success. After a few tries at what he is supposed to do: teach democracy, build a school, etc., he yields to the townspeople's wish of getting a Teahouse just like other villages have as to not appear so poor. The ultimate scheme to make the money they need to build, winds up being selling liquor to the U.S. Military when traditional handmade trinkets fail. The soldiers tell the townspeople that they can get the same stuff and the 5&dime for much cheaper made by something called "a machine".
Saving face is the key at the beginning of the film - which is how Brando manipulates Ford. As the film goes on, things get funnier and funnier -- the end is poignant but you will walk away smiling.
Having grown up in Queens in the 1970's, everything in this film hits
home. I am sure anyone that grew up in any of the 5 boro's can
The music is what we listened to on AM radio, the TV shows, children's street games, sitting on the stoop steps, kids teasing their friends and neighbors are all something we did at that time.
The Carmichael kids in front of the TV singing along to the Partridge Family "I Woke up in Love this Morning", Walt Frazier being IT when it came to basketball. How many of us sat doing the same things? The kids fighting with each other are brother sister typical things.
But the film also shows the problems a family endures when financial strains hit. The father is a musician who wants to write and play classical music to audiences who can appreciate it. This becomes a burden when his wife is the one working as a teacher paying the bills. Domestic issues put a strain on their relationship as they get into who used to pay the bills and who's paying them now.
Mom getting the kids up in the middle of the night for not cleaning up, you can understand her frustration being the breadwinner, mom and everything else. When she complains later on that she is tired, you will have to watch the film to see why.
Sit back and enjoy a trip back in time when life was a lot simpler. Even Spike and his friend dabbling in glue sniffing isn't so bad compared to what is going on now.
Like the Kinks song "I'm on a low budget", you have to wonder what our
stereotype talented mob actors were thinking when they consented to
pool their combined efforts together to make this film.
We have almost every mob actor who, if you pay attention to the script (without your eyes glazing over), replay many parts/lines from their mob movies.
The plot is thin if not threadbare.
I'm not sure why some of the other posters thought this was even an acceptable film. Trying to watch the entire thing, was painful.
As DeNiro told his son in a Bronx Tale, "the saddest thing in life, is wasted talent" - that appears to be the motto of this movie.
A Danny Aiello fan, I read the viewer's comments and purchased the VHS.
Apparently shot on location in Brooklyn, the characters portray the residents well. In an old Italian neighborhood, they try hold onto their traditions. Sunday dinner in a paneled basement, Aunt Rose (Morgana King) PERFECT as the matriarch of the film with her Olive Oil fixer to all cooking issues working her garden in the backyard, deadpan Abe Vigoda as Uncle Guy, and Danny Aiello as the blood-sucking local in charge of the neighborhood.
His hands in everything, he appears to be the mayor of the area (with ever faithful bodyguard Vincent Pastore at his side), trying to keep the neighborhood as it was until an interloper (Gabriella) rents Aunt Rose's upstairs to make a film about Brooklyn. As the plot goes on, we learn that her movie is not about Brooklyn and family, but that her coming to this particular house was for a reason.
I agree with the previous poster, Rick Aiello was way over the top. (Maybe that's why Spike Lee gave him small roles in his films). You can figure out towards the middle what the real deal is, but it is still an interesting low budget film.
Danny Aiello's real estate solution to evicting tenants is really how they did it in Bushwick back in the 80's and his solution to getting the necessary construction permits are accurate too.
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