"The Skating Rink" was one of ABC's Afterschool Specials... this one reminds me of the type of film I was forced to watch in school as a child. I was the only one in the class with a furrowed brow and open palms, hopelessly asking: "Why?"
This one is about Tuck, a stuttering misfit, born into a farm family and struggling to fit in. Tuck enjoys loitering around the construction site of the titular icehouse on his way to and from humiliation at school. One day the rink owner spots Tuck, taking the boy under his wing, and offering him free ice-skating lessons before the rink even opens. Will this skill help Tuck develop the much-needed confidence and self-esteem he sorely lacks? You do the math, jack.
This was a touching movie in that I actually found myself feeling for some of the characters. There's the depressed farmer Dad who will most likely throw himself into his own thresher one black afternoon, and the lead Tuck was very well-acted by Stewart Peterson. I couldn't find a moral to this one other than "Ice-skating is fun." Or maybe the lesson is that nothing succeeds like pancake makeup, flop sweat, and a woman paid to figure-skate. Yeah, that sounds good. But you're not missing much.
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