I don't think it's a good idea to use the word "lollipop" in a title. Call me mean, cynical, whatever, but lollipop movies have two strikes against them before the opening credits are done rolling. OK, Morris Engel made it work anyway ("Lovers and Lollipops' from 1956) but maybe in spite of, not because of, that menacingly precious title.
With "The Lollipop Cover" the grating begins in earnest with the first lines spoken by little Felicity, played by future TV veteran Carol Anne Seflinger. The script is the movie's principal weakness. The writing follows conventions of the time that have not aged well. One convention was to use little children as sources of profound wisdom about life, as in "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962). Similar sources of wisdom could also be found among patients of mental institutions, for example, "David and Lisa"(1962) and "King of Hearts" (1966).
So keep watching for when Ms. Seflinger explains the title. It would have been more interesting if the title had related more to some aspect of Don Gordon's Nick character, but what do I know...?
Another convention encouraged lengthy speechifying. And the more "intense", the more "deeply felt" and "emotional" the speech the better. Nick holds forth feelingly on several occasions to recount the life story of his ex-boxer character, describing things already covered in flashback. Felicity tells her story, too, and with a narrative polish unusual for a nine year old. The other characters in this road picture orate, as well, so much so that by the time the movie gets around to Felicity's alcoholic uncle I might as well have been watching a compilation of monologue-saturated last acts from the 60's era TV series "Route 66". I would have been worn out after all the emoting if any of it has remained even marginally credible after a half century, which it has not.
Interesting to see David White in a small, homosexual role, a role that becomes even smaller as soon as White's monologue leads Nick to conclude that White's "Richard" is indeed a homosexual. By the year of this movie's release White was already ensconced on "Bewitched" as Larry Tate. Maybe White or his agent wanted him to display more of his acting talent after having shown what he could do as sleazy Otis Elwell in "Sweet Smell of Success" (1957)
This lollipop movie was apparently a work of love by Gordon and others, including some Cassavetes people: John Marley ("Faces", 1968) ; the credits also mention a contribution to the effort by "assistant to producer" Seymour Cassel ("Faces", also "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie", 1976). It may have been inspired by "Sundays and Cybele" (1962), an infinitely superior movie that achieves near perfection, and without lollipops as I remember.
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