In Green Town, Illinois, the twelve year-old boys Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are neighbors and best friends. Will's father Charles Halloway is an old man and the local librarian while Jim and his mother wait for the return of the return of their father and husband that will never occur. The boys know everyone in town, including their school teacher Miss Foley that misses her beauty and youth; the lonely barber Mr. Crosetti that has no girlfriend or wife; the greedy owner of a cigar store Mr. Tetley that is obsessed with money; and the bartender Ed that has severed arm and leg and dreams on being a football hero. One day, Jim buys a lightning rod from the salesman Tom Fury that tells that a storm is coming. During the night, the boys overhear a mysterious train and they run through the woods to see the arrival but they do not see a living soul. However, they find the Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival ready to be enjoyed and they snoop around. Soon they realize that frustrated and ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Disney made many changes to the film which writer Ray Bradbury and director Jack Clayton did not intend. Many extra special effects scenes were shot by a second unit director after original production wrapped, and other changes were made before its release. According to the laserdisc commentary by Bradbury, much of his original intentions for the movie were destroyed. See more »
When Jim Nightshade buys the lightning rod with cash and coin, he has a Lincoln Memorial penny, which wasn't minted until 1959. The story is set earlier. See more »
I, uh, have the honor, sir.
And have had for many years, I do believe. All that time spent living only through other men's lives. Dreaming only other men's dreams. What a waste.
Sometimes a man can learn more from other men's dreams than he can from his own. Come visit me, sir, if you wish to improve your education.
I will, and I may improve yours.
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Ray Bradbury and the makers of this film ventured into foreign territory for the Disney Studios, they went to explore the dark side of humanity and came back with the honest truth that much of humanity is plagued and there are shiny bright spots within. This film explores the petty desires of everyday people, their eagerness to give what is really important in life up for things like vanity, lust, money, etc... The story centers around two small boys, Will and Jim, and how their lives change and the townfolk around them when a carnival comes to town. The atmosphere is chilling to say the least. It is easily the darkest of any Disney film(even considering the outstanding The Hunchback of Notre Dame). It uses dark landscapes, eerie haunting music, and bleak characterizations to perfection. The acting is good all around with two standouts. Jason Robards plays Will's father, and is the epitome of flawed goodness. He suffers for his goodness but has strength of heart. Robards is wonderful, and I felt myself wishing this man had been my father(or my father more like him). For an actor to be able to create that appeal is a true feat of integrity of performance. On the other side, in a simply sinister portrayal of evil incarnate is the performance of Jonathan Pryce, an overlooked and underappreciated English actor. His performance is scary, and he chews up every and each scene he is in. The script by Bradbury himself, based on his novel, is full of rich texture and subtlety. As with just about every film adaptation, the film is not the book...but then if you wanted that you only have to sit down and read...one page at a time.
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