An ex-Navy man carrying out the last wish of a dying shipmate renews contact with old friends to break the code of silence around a mysterious, long-buried crime.An ex-Navy man carrying out the last wish of a dying shipmate renews contact with old friends to break the code of silence around a mysterious, long-buried crime.An ex-Navy man carrying out the last wish of a dying shipmate renews contact with old friends to break the code of silence around a mysterious, long-buried crime.
Wherever this movie takes place, Harry is ready to retire and turn his electrical business over to his top employee Pauley. Harry was an electrician in the Navy and worked for a business when he got out, later taking it over, and then he went somewhere that would let him forget something terrible that happened in his life, taking over another electrical business. Muriel, a waitress who seems to be a potential romantic partner, warns him retirement could kill him. Harry doesn't seem to care about that.
Harry's son Bobby comes from Chicago to spend time with his dad on his birthday. That doesn't turn out to be a very satisfactory visit, as Harry's old Navy friend Kelley calls to ask Harry to visit him in a VA hospital in Philadelphia, where he is near death. And Bobby is having his own problems.
Kelley fears he will not be forgiven for what the group did to Kagan. It takes us a while to find out exactly what happened, but they must have done something really bad. Flashbacks show the events that led up to what the men did. Kelley's memory is not clear because the men had been drinking, and Harry isn't too sure either. Harry continues his travels by visiting some of the others who participated.
Flashbacks show the friendship between Harry and Kagan, including a visit to his parents. It's a nice scene.
Rheems is not a nice man, abusive to his wife, and rejecting his homosexual son. The wife is attracted to Harry and wants to leave.
When Harry interrupts his college class, Prof. Porter denies having even been in the Navy, but the professor admits to having been a part of the group. Harry still doesn't get a clear answer.
Harry also visits Peter, who has a strong Christian faith which was made stronger my his wife's terrible accident, which left her paralyzed and completely dependent on others..
Harry finally goes to Miami to met with Kagan. Eventually, he gets the answers he seeks, and we learn what really happened.
This is a pretty good movie, with a number of moral questions and no easy answers.
I think all the leading actors do a good job. Steve Buscemi is always good, of course. I'm not familiar with Jamey Sheridan but he carries the movie. Campbell Scott stands out near the end as Kagan, not necessarily doing the expected. Karen Young also stands out as Muriel.
The music in this movie is great. Much of it is real jazz. Kagan was a talented pianist, and in the flashbacks, the members of his group loved jazz. Harry also sings with a doo-wop group and they're very good. They perform after a Barbershop group.
I think it's worth seeing.
- Feb 12, 2020