The Stone Boy (1984)

PG   |    |  Drama


The Stone Boy (1984) Poster

A Midwestern farm family faces major emotional adjustment after a tragedy results in the death of an older brother.


6.8/10
653

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  • Robert Duvall and Frederic Forrest in The Stone Boy (1984)
  • Glenn Close and Robert Duvall in The Stone Boy (1984)
  • Jason Presson in The Stone Boy (1984)
  • Gail Youngs in The Stone Boy (1984)
  • Wilford Brimley in The Stone Boy (1984)
  • Glenn Close in The Stone Boy (1984)

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20 March 2008 | TOMASBBloodhound
8
| Great cast in an emotional film.
The Stone Boy is an almost forgotten drama from the 1980s. Considering how many famous or soon to be famous people are in the film, one wonders how it could have been so overlooked. This is a slow, moody, but touching account of a tragedy that befalls a farm family. The film is more or less an indictment of Midwestern stoic values and suppression of emotion. The film will not be for all tastes, but anyone who can appreciate real human drama should like it OK.

In the early moments of the film, we see two brothers head off in the early morning hours to pick some peas and maybe shoot a duck or two if they're lucky. While climbing through a barbed wire fence, the gun accidentally discharges and the younger boy fatally shoots his older brother. These boys have apparently never taken a hunter safety course. The way for two men to properly go through a fence like this with one gun would be as follows: First man climbs through. Second man then passes him the gun through the fence. The first man then sets the gun down and helps the other through the fence. At no time should either man have his hands on both the gun and the fence.

Anyway, once his brother is killed, 12-yr-old Arnold regresses into his own world. He does not even run for help after his brother is shot. He simply goes ahead and picks the peas and tells his family about the accident later. At no point during the funeral or inquest does Arnold seem to show any regret or sorrow at all. His family seems to shun him. Perhaps they are even angry at him for killing his brother. An ornery uncle played by Frederick Forrest is outwardly upset with Arnold, even though the older brother's death allows him to hit on the kid's girlfriend. Arnold's parents don't seem to understand how to deal with their son. They really don't even try to talk to him. About the only person he can communicate with is his grandfather who is played in typical grandfatherly skill by Wilford Brimley. After a while, Arnold even moves in with the old timer.

Nothing seems to get Arnold to open up until he takes a bizarre road trip to Reno Nevada to inexplicably look up his uncle's ex-wife. Once he meets her, he begins to emerge from his shell after apologizing to her for breaking up her marriage by starting all of the family's turmoil with the accident. From here on, the film becomes a quick study in reconciliation and reawakening.

The acting is hauntingly distant in most cases. Robert Duvall and Glenn Close make the perfect stoic farm parents. Forrest is good, but maybe trying too hard to channel Paul Newman's performance in Hud. The cinematography is exceptional, too. If you like moody pictures about common folk, this one may be for you. Some even may be advised to bring some tissues. 8 of 10 stars.

The Hound.

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Details

Release Date:

4 April 1984

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Cascade, Montana, USA

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