This film was mentioned on another thread, but thought it might deserve it’s own slot at this time of year.
I’d mentioned that it was pretty entertaining, but I think my memory was being a bit kind, there are a number of faults with the film … and with my memory. I dug this one out for another viewing last night - and fell asleep half way through. Maybe due to the rigours of Christmas entertaining, but equally probable, due to the lack of rigour in the making of this film. Therefore this review will come in two parts …
WARNING …WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY CONTAIN SPOILERS!
I was wrong about Joe being an orphan tho’. The ‘Three (slightly innebriated) Wise Men’ - A Mayor, a judge and a doctor arrive … following the glow from the old posthouse. As one of ‘em wishes “Happy Christmas”, baby Joe’s ma pops her clogs and everybody feels a bit bad about it :’( - especially Joe’s dad who says he’s gonna name him Cain … cos he killed his mother. The bitter old sod then gets as pissed as he can for as long as he can - which lasts a good coupl’a decades whilst the boy Joe is now been brought up learning the 3R’s - reading, ‘riting ‘n’ ruckin’ - by the 3 wise’uns.
When Joe finally learns the truth, he makes Kevin the Teenager seem positively polite by comparison. But this is where the film’s biggest fault occurs. There’s the boy/youth Joe who goes around saying “I hate You” to anybody who stays still long enough … then there’s this gangly spotty greasy youth … and then WE GET Jeff Hunter!
Well, he was in his 30s when he was (probably) miscast as a teenage Jesus in 1961 in ‘King of Kings’, it’s now 5 years later and there is no way on earth that we can be fooled into thinking that this slightly paunchy middle-aged man (I’ve only seen Terry Scott hold his belly in more - when he played Tarzan in ‘Carry on up the Jungle’) can be in his early 20s! In fact Terry Scott would’ve been better in this ;)! Weisser’s book would have JH as a bit of a pisshead himself - (hence the gut, maybe) - after getting a slagging off as a crap Jesus. I think imdb has something about him turning down a top job in StarTrek or similar (maybe … worth a check, but that’d piss you off again - maybe?)
Even one of the wise (old by now) men looks younger than our JH. Another problem is that JH is pretty uncharismatic to boot and comes across as too wholesome and ‘American’. There’s not the grittyness we come to expect from our protagonists - and I for one, feel let down by this.
The film just started to take off, with a bit of a slap and a spanking for Jeff from another old man by the name of Louis (HOORAH!) ;D - who also looks younger than JH, and the town is about to change forever, now that somebody’s discovered copper - when I fell asleep… zzzzzzz.
The second part should be more promising tho’ and it is … to be continued (It’s just like Saturday morning pictures all over again …)
Anybody else got any views on this christmas turkey? ??? SD say’s his seen it, but he’s a bit rusty as well … not picking up on my ‘orphan’ mistake.