The Summer of Ben Tyler [VHS]

ISBN 13: 9781574924282

The Summer of Ben Tyler [VHS]

 
9781574924282: The Summer of Ben Tyler [VHS]
Review:

There's a reason the Hallmark Hall of Fame series is so acclaimed. They're well-done, thoughtful productions, and The Summer of Ben Tyler is no exception. James Woods and Elizabeth McGovern are credible, likeable, and warm as Temple and Celia Rayburn, who live in a small Southern town at the beginning of World War II. The parents of young and precocious Nell (an utterly marvelous Julia McIlvaine), they've also taken into their home Ben Tyler (an understated and very handsome Charles Mattocks), the son of their deceased "colored" housekeeper. But this is the South in the 1940s, and what is obviously kind integrity is interpreted by the close-minded town as a challenge to its outdated--and immoral--mores. Nell allows Ben to take the blame for the fire she's accidentally set in a neighbor's field. When the son of the town's richest man is accused of manslaughter, Temple is brought in to defend him. As the trial unfolds, he's confronted with a moral dilemma. Despite the heavy subject matter, this film remains buoyant and hopeful. The acting is superb and the story expresses well its positive messages of friendship, family, trustworthiness, loyalty, morality, humanity, honesty, and strength. While Woods has been heralded for many roles in which he's played the bad guy ( Ghosts of Mississippi), it's completely refreshing to see him play a profoundly good guy--and he does a darn good job, too. --N.F. Mendoza

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