A well meaning but burned-out high school teacher tries to maintain order against the backdrop of a pending lawsuit against his school district when it comes to light they gave a diploma to an illiterate student.
It's 1918, the height of United States involvement in World War I - Liberty Bonds are sold, German immigrants are suspected as traitors or saboteurs, young men everywhere succumb to the ... See full summary »
Nora is a single mother who lives with her son Michael in a small house. They don't have much money but at least they have each other. Out of the blue comes Nora's father Max Dugan, who left her and her mother when Nora was nine years old. He brings a suitcase with dollar bills and showers her and Michael with gifts, trying to make up for lost time, knowing that he has a fatal heart ailment. The money comes from his shady career in Las Vegas and Nora is dating a police who is very interested in meeting him...Written by
When Nora McPhee drives home on the motorcycle with her son and parks, she leaves the ignition on, as evidenced by the brightly glowing taillight that will turn off and on with the ignition switch. See more »
Warm, funny and spirited--but leaves a curious question-mark behind...
As an actress, Marsha Mason always makes the best of an occasionally bad situation ("Audrey Rose", "Chapter Two"), yet in "Max Dugan Returns" she really gets to shine with excellent material. She has often played mothers, but Mason's relationship here with screen-son Matthew Broderick is extremely warm and real--it lives beyond the wisecracks--and as a daughter to Jason Robards she's funny and occasionally maternal. Plot about an L.A.-area teacher struggling to keep ahead of the bill collector has a jaunty, lively rhythm and a vitality that puts it above most family comedies. When the teacher gets a visit from her long-lost father, carrying a satchel of stolen money, the story thickens but doesn't bubble over. Director Herbert Ross does a good job at keeping the situation grounded. Donald Sutherland is perhaps an odd casting choice as the detective/love-interest investigating Pop (Sutherland has played so many heavies, he still has an evil glint in his eyes and an edge in his voice), however he makes the character right for him. Credit Neil Simon with one of his best scripts; he has no agenda here except to make us laugh, though that presents a problem when reality sinks in and daughter and dad have to deal with the moral (and legal) ramifications of the money. There are some quick lines at the finale designed to make the ending a happy one, but I'm not so sure Mason would be in the clear after the police become involved--nor would her romance with Sutherland be quite so rosy once he has to choose the law over his feelings for her. And why does Mason say "he's going to drive" at the finale when the car turns into an animated plane? Would Pop ditch the car at the airport? And what about that lunch date at Pizza Hut? When Mason and Broderick show up in a taxi, wouldn't detective Sutherland be a little bit suspicious? *** from ****
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