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After 30 years on the road, a veteran jewelry salesman is forced to show his young replacement the tricks of the trade, but when the kid introduces him to the ladies of the "Altoona Riding Club," the old dog is introduced to a whole new set of "tricks."Written by
This little gem of a film was shown on cable. Since I don't think it ever had a commercial run, at least locally, it was a delight that came out of nowhere. Dan Cohen, working with his own material, has dome wonders with this buddy/road picture in which two different men with different mentalities and background, come together as they touch each other's lives in more ways than expected. If you haven't seen this film, please stop reading.
Eddie Miller is an old salesman who loses his job after having a mild heart attack. The firm he has been working for years suddenly decide to fire him because he cannot be insured any more. Eddie is in a difficult position; his wife has died and left him with debts that he must repay. This is a decent man who has done honest work for his company and suddenly finds he must either stay for a few weeks training the new guy, who is going to inherit his job, or else, go into an unknown future, probably doing menial work.
The new man, Bobby is a happy go lucky kind of guy who enjoys his time on the road as it gives him the opportunity to play around all over his territory with waitresses, bar maids, or other women who are willing to have a good time with a handsome fellow. The contrast between Eddie and Bobby is notorious. Eddie prefers to stay in the motel room and solve puzzles rather than go drinking with the apprentice.
This is a story of contrasts between two different generations. What makes the film so endearing is the great work by the two principals. Robert Forster has been around, behind the stars for quite a while. He is a reliable character actor who is dependable, does his work well, but one never sees him in a lead role such as the one in here. Donnie Wahlberg, the new partner, is excellent in that he is just the opposite of the older man, but one can see the rapport between them. Donnie Wahlberg makes a magnificent contribution to the movie.
Bess Armstrong, makes the most with the small role of Katie, the woman who meets Eddie in the worst possible circumstances, but immediately recognizes this man is honest and decent. Eddie is the answer to her prayers and hopes. The two have incredible charisma and ease in their scenes together. Also, in a small part, Jasmine Guy, who is the kind hearted Tina, the owner of the "house of leisure" where Bobby convinces Eddie in going. Ms. Guy does wonders with her small time in front of the camera.
This is a film with an unpredictable ending. Director Cohen takes us into a wonderful road trip all over the state of Pennsylvania, and what a treat it turns out to be for those willing to embark in this adventure.
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