A young girl comes to an embittered town and confronts its attitude with her determination to see the best in life.A young girl comes to an embittered town and confronts its attitude with her determination to see the best in life.A young girl comes to an embittered town and confronts its attitude with her determination to see the best in life.
A deliciously subversive adult film for kids
It is well worth taking another look at POLLYANNA if you and your family have not seen it for a long time. You will be delighted to realize just how subversive this intelligent witty film is. In fact Pollyanna's surname IS Wittier. People who carp that this is a syrupy sweet film and moan about Disney saccharine movies are missing the point. POLLYANNA is a sly film about misuse of power, loneliness, bullying and meanness using a good natured teen to counterpoint a town of adults who have lost their way in their own lives. She has to be a strong opposite in order for each adult to have a revelation about their own unpleasant behavior. The key adult is her Aunt Polly who has not had sex for a long time, as a result she is bitter and bossy and all the town is afraid to stand up to her. Aunt Polly's sexual frustration is pointed out several times because, in a family film as sharp as this you can have very adult situations wrapped in gauze and acceptable as a character flaw. Pollyanna simply by being positive (and clever and funny) has a profound affect on everyone in need of re awakening. Pollyanna even takes on the hypocrisy of the church and the contents of the bible: One astonishing and powerful scene is in an open field on a very hot day with the church Pastor (a terrific Karl Malden) is practicing his latest fire and brimstone scare campaign. Pollyanna visits him and by being her intelligent self politely demolishes his mindset. He is found later by his wife collapsed with a overwhelming awareness of where he has been wrong. He then becomes a catalyst for motivating the town to stand up to Aunt Polly's sabotage of all their lives. What is so deliciously refreshing about POLLYANNA is that is it simple courtesy and commonsense from the mouth of a confident blossoming 13 year old girl (as 'the future') ...the milk mustache scene is completely THERE in mid screen for any slow learners. The direction is terrific and hilarious and there are many big laughs in small moments scattered through the film; Jimmy and the fish, Pollyanna imitating a cow chewing, the granny playing the drums, Pollyanna being handed sandwiches while hiding in a bush in the conservatory.... loads of crowd pleasing moments for a big audience of families to relish. Particularly moving is the whole subplot about the prisms of light. Agnes Moorehead has a hilarious turn as a hypochondriac who comes good and helps find Pollyanna a doll. Many many matching emotional moments all through this film. Adolph Menjou also has a great spot as the town scary man supposedly with a cellar full of slaves and rats. So take my advice and look for the wickedly funny jokes at the expanse of the status quo and have a wonderful time laughing and wiping tears with your kids and you embrace every magnificently produced sly comedy moment of this utterly clever heartwarming film. POLLYANNA is a complete success. Even vintage car enthusiast are included in the delighted audience for this film. The very funny opening scene of the naked boy swinging on a rope will alert you to the fact this is a film with a very wicked agenda. The production values of antiques costumes and gorgeous visuals are as lavish as MY FAIR LADY. And thank your lucky stars that it wasn't remade with Lindsay Lohan as THE PARENT TRAP was.
- Feb 5, 2011
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