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The Delta Factor (1970)
The Worst of the Sixties on your screen now!
From the sky-blue eyeshadow that all the women wear to the rugged, steely hero who is too tough to actually act, this movie is the 1960s distilled. No cliché is left unused. The script is full of 'busters' and 'bud' and other masculine dialogue; the women are large of bust-line and and disposable as Kleen-Ex; the cinematography resembles a lesser episode of 'Bonanza' in its realism.
Oh, why bother? It's a Mickey Spillane film. That means it comes with expectations and it delivers all of them in the execrable fashion of the Master.
Auteur, my right hind hoof. But if you're a Mickey Spillane fan this could be your cup of coffee (tea is for sissies, buster).
So much promise turns to lead
Bob Hoskins does the most convincing American accent I've ever heard a British actor do, but directing doesn't seem to come as naturally as dialect. This movie features unattractive leading children, unbelievable school situations, stereotypical 'media' types, and completely fails to persuade even the most credulous that the magic is *there*. Special effects are variable, but generally poor. Unconvincing acting ruins what might have been rather good dialogue. It's a shame. I really, really wanted to like this movie, but there was no there there.
Friendly Persuasion (1975)
Not a remake, but an expansion
Although titled 'Friendly Persuasion', this is actually an adaptation of its sequel, 'Except for Me and Thee', also by Jessamyn West.
It is hard to compare the actors to the originals--who can best Gary Cooper?-but I found nothing in it that made me uncomfortable as a Friend watching it. It's worth seeing, but perhaps not worth seeking out, as the original 'Friendly Persuasion' definitely is.
We Quakers are so often confused with other Plain sects--the Amish and Mennonites--that it's good to watch just so, perhaps, thee can see the difference.
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
From a Friendly Standpoint
I found 'Friendly Persuasion' to be not only charming and well-made, but a good representation of the problems of Quaker life during war time. Making the decision to be non-violent (pacifism is *not* the same as passivity) is one that is made every moment our our lives. Being human, we Friends do not always live up to our self-set standards; but this movie does show a Quaker family trying its best to remain faithful to its creed.
As to the previous reviewer who questioned the use of the Plain Speech during the Civil War period, this is not an anachronism. Many Friends continued to use it into the 20th century (haven't thee ever seen 'The Philadelphia Story'?). Some of us who were radical in the turbulent times of the 60s and 70s resurrected it as a connection to our roots. I use it; I think in it; but as Jess Birdwell says, 'I can say "you" if you want me to.'
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
I'm in love with Virginia Weidler.
The Philadelphia Story has so much going for it--Hepburn, Grant, Stewart--but the actor that makes the picture really work is Virginia Weidler, who plays Tracy's young sister Dinah. Her cynical love for her sister, her superior understanding of who is the better man mix so well with her childlike curiosity and naturalness makes her scenes so much fun.
The only child actor who could possibly compare is Margaret O'Brian--so eerie in 'Meet Me in St. Louis'--but she could never have pulled off such a wise and knowing role as Dinah.
Child actors generally make me want to throttle them within minutes. I could watch Weidler for hours. What an actor! And what a movie!