Savannah Smiles (1982) Poster

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10/10
An excellent movie
HughJunit22 October 2005
This is a movie that will definitely make you smile.

All three of the main characters are terrific in this film.

This is a movie you can definitely watch with the kids, which is a rare these days.

The parents in the film are a little stereotyped in their coldness and their "seeing the error of their ways", but is intended to connect Savanah to Alphie, who wrote the film. The movie is very predictable, however like a Disney movie, although you aren't surprised by anything in it, it doesn't take away from the enjoyment.

I don't think I have ever sat through it any of the 10-12 times I watched it and not shed a few happy tears.
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10/10
Superb!!
leelee20017 February 2003
I watched this little gem of a film on UK television last night and enjoyed it immensely.I can only agree with what everyone else said and thoroughly recommend seeing this if You get a chance,I know I'll have to buy the DVD or Video of this film if I can find it. What a tragedy that the girl who played Savannah died at such a young age.
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Similarities with "Monsters, Inc."
JanieJane1 April 2003
This was one of my favorite films as a kid, as I often had runaway fantasies of my own (who didn't want to get away from their parents at some point in their childhood?). This movie parallels a more recent, widely popular movie "Monsters, Inc." Think about it: both movies involve two male characters who are friends/co-workers/partners-in-crime. These characters are encountered by a small, cute, little girl from another world (in "Savannah Smiles", the girl is from a world of wealth while the guys are from "the wrong side of the tracks"; and in "Monsters, Inc.", a girl from the human world enters into the monster world). Also, Alvie and Boots are seen as "monsters" (since they are criminals) and are misjudged by others. (It can be argued that Alvie is like Sulley from "Monsters, Inc." since he's the leader and Boots is a lot like Sulley's sidekick Mike). As in both movies, the two main characters do not want the little girl at first and are desperate to get rid of her (for fear of the repercussions)--but they soon grow to love her, ending in a tearful goodbye when the girl is returned home.

Try watching both movies back-to-back and see for yourself the similarities. I'm not implying that the writers of "Monsters, Inc." stole their ideas from "Savannah Smiles", I just thought it was a neat coincidence that they had such similar themes.
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10/10
Perfect family movie
justwrite31918 September 2005
I saw this when it first came out and enjoyed it. My oldest daughter , now 20 ,enjoyed it so much she named her favorite doll Savannah. Now my 3 yr old is in love with Savannah. Every morning she wants to watch Savannah as she eats breakfast, she has gotten to the point of reciting lines before they appear. It's a wonderful movie, fun, entertaining and you fall in love with Savannah and her 2 buddies; the gruff Alvie and clueless yet sweet Bootsie. As you watch this notice the changes that take place in the main characters, very heart warming. The music scores support the story. I find that I hum or sing them throughout the day. My 3 yr old asks me to sing the end song as I rock her to sleep each night. There are overtly funny scenes but you have to appreciate the clueless comment of Peter Graves' character.."I've heard that voice before."
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A wonderful film!
magellan33322 November 2001
I just bought Savannah Smiles on DVD and got to watch it again for the first time in years. It was still as wonderful as when I was six years old, if not better. This is one of those movies that was made in the 1980s, but doesn't fall in the "80s movies" genre. It seems that not a lot of people have heard of it or seen it. I can't help but wonder why because this is a great movie! Perhaps if it would have had a big name star, it would have fared better over the years. I actually thought it was Drew Barrymore who played Savannah until not too long ago. Despite few big name stars, everybody does an outstanding job in their roles. Like a previous reviewer, I too wonder why Mark Miller didn't make many more films, he is a terrific actor! Although none of the music made the top ten, the film has a great soundtrack. The film will make you laugh, get angry, and cry. I shed a tear at the end and I am usually not one to get emotional over movies. Look high and low to find it, because when you do, you will not regret seeing it.

John 3:16 <><
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10/10
Savanah Smiles
unlukyloto14 September 2005
I just wanted to say this is the most heart warming movie . You just don't forget it if you liked it at all. I can't find it at any stores t buy. Walmarts or Block Buster don't have it . We need to watch more movies like this to teach our kids love and compassion . Please put this back on the shelves to be bought. All my family loves this movie, aunts. uncles' grandparents' grandchildren. Please. Please, make more movies like this one. I just wish people would watch more like this movie than the blood and guts movies, I know each person has their on views but I think we need more family Love movies than the sex murder and lies movies. This one needed to be rated a lot higher than what it was. Even though Alvie and Boots were criminals they still found they could love a child . They learned to enjoy the family values again. thank you for listening to me.
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7/10
An "Adult" Film About Childhood
Bob-455 January 2001
Savannah Driscoll (Brigette Andersen)is the 7 year old daughter of wealthy gubernatorial candidate, Richard Driscoll (Chris Robinson). Savannah, feeling terribly lonely and neglected by her self-absorbed parents, dashes a note and runs away. Two small-time crooks, Boots (Donovan Scott) and Alvie (Mark Miller), on the lam after a slapstick-style prison break, steal the car in which Savannah has chosen to hide. Savannah's "run away" note falls out of sight, so the police, with the exception of Lt. Savage (Michael Parks) immediately assume kidnapping. The police call in "ace tracker" Harland Dobbs (Peter Graves, in hilarious deadpan "dimwit detective" role). Meanwhile, Alvie, Boots and Savannah find a hideout. While Boots takes care of Savannah, Alvie, who hates children (and just about everybody else) becomes involved with Doreen (Carol Wayne, Carson's "Matinee Lady"), an attractive, spectacularly built waitress and part-time country singer. Desiring to satisfy Doreen's innocent dreams, Alvie ransoms Savannah. However, Boots' "nurturing instincts" are aroused, and he wants to reform.

Despite some thin spots in the middle, this is a surprisingly powerful movie. As we learn more about Alvie, we come to sympathize with his character, making the "near Ruby Ridge-style" climax of this movie all the more gut wrenching. I can barely think about this film without choking up. The cast is uniformly outstanding, most notable being Mark Miller (father of Penelope Ann), Pat Morita, Carol Wayne and Michael Parks (a character similar to THE X FILES Muldar). Brigette Andersen (granddaughter of child star Jackie Coogan) is adorable. Tragically, Andersen died from a drug and alcohol overdose at age 22.

The late porn star, Savannah, took her stage name from this movie, an admittedly "dubious" distinction. Apparently SAVANNAH SMILES has affected a lot of people. If you DO show it to your children, WATCH it with them. You may look at the world in a slighter brighter way when you are done.
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10/10
I write this because I to express my feelings about this film
teté29 July 1999
I saw that many people like this film. I love it too, and I would like to see it again, but it seems that we can not buy the video right now. I like Mark Miller a lot, and I think he should be in many other films and I do not know why he is not acting more. The film, great!! Thanks
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10/10
Family entertainment at its best.
thepulleys29 November 2000
This show probably is not for everyone. But, if you are looking for good family entertainment without the worry of something inappropriate for children being shown, this is an excellent choice. Many shows I have seen are really great except for that one scene, or the use of inappropriate language. This show, unlike those, is great from the time you put it on until it ends. If you have children and are concerned about what they are being exposed to, you can add this one to your video library without any reservations. And, as an added bonus, "Savannah Smiles" has a charming story that is very entertaining even for those of us who are no longer six years old.
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Savannah "Smiles"?
dazyduck19 December 2002
Not hardly! This movie absolutely hurts to watch! Not in a bad way though as in it's not a bad movie. it is just so hard to watch that it hurts your heart to see it. each time you watch it, you are constantly wanting the ending to change.

Imagine seeing this movie when you are seven years old. it is almost traumatising. The movie is so powerful that it gets inside you and doesn't let go. I haven't seen it in years simply because it hurts to see it. It's the most heartbreaking movie ever made. I have never gotten through it without crying my eyes out. The moment that note flies under the bed, you're done for. It grabs you and pulls on every emotion that you didn't know existed.

I love this movie; it's just too bad I can't watch it but once every couple of years.
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9/10
Succeeds despite its' flaws
s-baldrick-864-61430811 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
*spoilers ahead*

Savannah Smiles suffers a bit from seemingly being a kind of indie production. Mark Miller writes, produces and stars in it so the movie sometimes wants to be all about Alvie even if there's not enough for that to really work completely. Like the weird final (fantasy?) flashback image is an odd note to end the movie on. It could have used another rewrite. The editing is weird, and definitely feels like the movie was longer and cut down for time. Like Savannah is taken to a doctor even though we've had no indication she's even sick. Despite it's unpolished flaws though, it's often charming and Bridgette Andersen is adorable in it. It's a good concept for a movie (it's basically the Olsen Twins movie To Grandmother's House We Go in some ways). I did enjoy it; I just wonder if there's a longer cut floating around somewhere because some of the edits are just awkward.

I like when she tells the story of Brer Rabbit, which is almost word for word the Disney "Song of the South" treatment. I wonder if this was all ad-libbed by Bridgette. She definitely seems to have seen that movie, which to me is a great argument for getting it properly re-released.

It's not the most well-made movie, but the Savannah scenes are lively. I wonder why she stopped acting. I notice they had to throw in a line about stranger danger; don't want kids running away and hopping in the first car they find! I'd probably be a bit less critical had I seen it when I was five or six.

All in All, worth checking out.
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10/10
Classic Movie
drallab961 June 2007
Just bought the DVD off e-bay. First saw this movie on HBO when I was the age of my oldest son (7). Now 23, years later, I cannot wait to show this to my three kids. I literally used to check the "TV Spotlight" in the Sunday paper for HBO to see when it would come on. The story was so great and one of my fondest memories of a child is watching this movie. I read criticism about how this story is not that great because it basically glorifies kids going off with strangers. But as a child I never took it that way, and I am not afraid to show to my children. I always thought it was sweet because she got the attention her parents did not give her and the softening of the Alvie and Bootsie.

Loved Parent Trap II also, and I thought she was in that also. Glad I was right.

Truly one of those movies that can stand the test of time. Glad to hear there are other who loved it also. I am proud to be part of the cult following
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10/10
One of my all time favorites
jcs9169 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A spoiler wouldn't make much difference, because I think just about everyone I ever asked has seen this film. I have never had anyone tell me they didn't love it. This is one that can be enjoyed over and over again. It's a great one for the kids as it only has a little mild profanity. Bridgette Anderson is adorable and is perfect for this part. It's hilarious at times and very touching at others. The soundtrack is also outstanding. Several of Ken Sutherland's songs should have been big hits. The Character development is good as Alvie and Boots change as they come to love Savannah and she blossoms as she gets the attention she was denied as the "poor little rich girl".
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watch it with the kids...
cstagner4 January 2003
This is one of the sweetest movies you will ever see. You can watch it with the kids and never hear or see anything that will make you uncomfortable. Trust me, when Svanah Smiles, you will too. It is a real tragedy that the little girl who played Savanah passed away.
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The Most Remembered Movie As A Child
haven2423 February 2000
I love this movie from the first time i saw it as a little girl, I was 8 when it came out and now i'm 25, and it still makes me laugh and cry with tears. I would suggest this movie to any little girl growing up. It is a great family movie. I give it a 10!!
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7/10
This movie will make you joyful
hcs339917 April 2002
I ran across this at the video store and I hadn't seen it for almost 15 years. It is still just as heartwarming and loveable as it was when I was young. The little girl is so sweet it's hard not to fall in love with her, like the robbers eventually did. I'm going to search to add a copy of this to my library, but until I do, at least I'll know that life is perfect when Savannah smiles.
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10/10
Savannah Smiles film review
hewitt_films235 July 2014
When I was a kid, this was one of the first films my parents recorded on a VHS player, there were many funny moments in this film as a child I laughed and loved, but as a adult I laughed a lot harder understanding the film more. I am not going to lie but every time I watch this film I cry at the end. I love the story, the cast, it is just a amazing film that people don't really know and they should. It is very heart warming. I am a film maker and actor and I do believe a lot of that came from this wonderful film along with many others that I grew up with. The 1980's was a wonderful time to grow up watching films. ~Brian Hewitt~ HEWITT FILMS
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9/10
Another great tear-jerker
pentagore14 April 2006
I pretty much agree with everyone else in that this is a superb and heartfelt family movie. I saw this on HBO sometime in '83 and it made me bawl like crazy. I agree that this movie should be seen by more people, or at least shown on some of the movie channels. It's a very cute movie with adorable characters that would melt some of the coldest hearts in the world. It wasn't until today that I was trying to remember some of the great films I've watched when I was a kid when this one popped to mind. It's great to see so many other people feel the same way about 'Savannah Smiles'. I'm also pleased to see that it's finally out on DVD. Yet another film I will have to add to my collection. Highly recommended to any family, or even a film buff. You simply can not turn this down. It's hard to say which film gets to me more, 'Dominick & Eugene' or this one. Tough choice!
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A nostalgic time for me
wendihayden10 September 2001
I can remember watching this movie on HBO on my living room floor, smelling of old carpet, before church one Sunday morning. That was the only time I've watched it. To this day I have often thought about it, and am realizing what an impact it had on me. I don't know what it was, but it has me going to a search engine to find it's whereabouts. My mother never remembered the movie, neither did my other two sisters. Now that i have found it, I am going to watch it this weekend...if I can find it.
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10/10
Savannah Smiles
divalindy415 November 2006
This is my all time favorite movie,I have watched many times, My granddaughters now watch it and love it. It was sad to find out that Briddgett Anderson had died,I will always love the movie and hope to keep passing it down the line to future grand kids. It's truly the BEST movie ever made.We watch it just about every week end they are at my house, which is almost ever weekend,I wish more movies were as touching as this one. My 2nd oldest granddaughter is name Savannah, I got to name her, and Yes it was because of the movie,and to be honest she looks a lot like her, I used to sing the song "When Savannah Smiles "to her when she was a baby, and Now she is 5 and we know it by heart.Thank you, from our hearts to yours.
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10/10
"Savannah Smiles" is my all time favorite movie!!!
mms61923 February 2006
The first time I watched "Savannah Smiles", about 20 years ago, I absolutely loved it!!! My best friend and I would watch it every time we'd get together. We even memorized most of the lines. I have more fond memories of that movie than any other I've seen since. I have a very old VHS copy, but have been looking everywhere for the DVD version. I'm hoping that my 8 year old daughter will enjoy Savannah Smiles as much as I have. I wanted to name her Savannah because of this film. Unfortunately, my husband wanted a different name. This is an adorable, heart-warming movie. I've seen the movie at least one hundred times and I still cry every time I watch it. It's a "good" cry though. Everyone should check this movie out. You can't go wrong with Savannah Smiles!
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10/10
Pat Morita Reflections
ikcaj25 November 2005
I had totally forgotten about this film and that Pat Morita was in it until I read his Obit today.

Like the commentator before me I have to say that this truly is an excellent film.

I saw it in the theaters as a child, then later as an adult on TV.

I was just as captivated, just as moved and laughed just as loud as I did when I was 9 years old.

It is a timeless film that has gone relatively unnoticed by the critics and the masses.

If you haven't seen it, check your local video store or library and get this film today!
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"Picnics are so much fun"
XFA18 September 2004
I remember seeing this movie , when HBO was a new cable station and I adored the film. Such a sweet film , I was mesmerized with Bridgette Anderson , as I too was a little girl at the time - but she was an actress! Unfortunately - I have only had the pleasure of seeing her in just this film - out of all that she has ever done. On that same unfortunate note - I was very upset and saddened to find out that we have lost this shiny star in May of 1997. She was only 21. Great movie for your collection of goods. :)
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6/10
the first movie to ever make me cry
babycorn42017 January 2002
i was only five years old when i first saw this film, but it was the first emotional experience i had ever had watching a film. i have not seen it since then, so im not sure how it will hold up 19 years later. but it was a tremendous movie experience (for a five year old).
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10/10
Hearts Will Be Broken
paxham4 November 2010
I love this movie and have probably seen it 6 or 7 times, but not lately. It's a simple story, well written and acted. A little girl runs away and gets mixed up with two bungling "bad" guys, neither one of whom seems that bad by the end of the movie. Savannah is just too cute without overdoing it. There are plenty of heartwarming moments and if your not charmed, then check your pulse. The ending always makes me cry, but not in a bad way. It's a movie about redemption, healing and hope, a little vacation from bad news that you can watch with your kids.

Find it, rent it, keep it and share it. You won't regret it.
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