3 August 2003 | jbpink101
A fable from another time.
Way, way back in the 9th grade, in the early 60's, our principal canceled all our afternoon classes and had the entire 9th grade meet in the assembly room (lunchroom without the tables) so he could show us this movie on a 16 mm projector. That's how strongly he felt about this movie. He pointed out, afterwards, that this is a fable, about how life could be if...
After a few decades I bought the video and watched it - not from the viewpoint of comparing it to today's movies, but in the context of what my old principal told us. Just to see if the old impressions held up in light of today's jaded world. It did, and I was surprised at how thoroughly I enjoyed it.
Note that the name of the town is Ithica, that two of the main characters are named Homer and Ulysses, & that the story is introduced from a "heavenly voice from above". All mythological references.
It is showing us how life could be, maybe should be, even with life's tragedies. Not too often, even back then, do you see a family saying their prayers, then discussing them. And, yes, it'd be great if male macho rivalries were settled that easily. And it'd be great if non-relative adults would take the time to help young adults improve (without worrying about ulterior motives). It's all what-ifs, but great what ifs.
Mickey Rooney was never better, and most of the cast was excellent. I highly recommend this movie only if you are aware of what you are really watching. 4/5