HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Baxter! Growing PainsBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Lionel Jeffries
Stars: Patricia Neal, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Britt Ekland, Lynn Carlin, Scott Jacoby, Sally Thomsett, Paul Eddington, Paul Maxwell, Ian Thompson, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Frances Bennett, George Tovey, Frank Singuineau, Mavis Villiers, Nicholas Smith
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Roger Baxter (Scott Jacoby) is a troubled twelve-year-old whose parents have recently divorced, and now he is leaving his California home to travel to London with his mother (Lynn Carlin), his father staying behind. He has never felt especially close to either of them, mostly his mother who tends to fly into rages whenever he acts up, and this has led to a speech impediment where he can't pronounce the letter "R", something he will soon be attending a speech therapist to attempt to cure. Settling in the British capital will prove difficult because of all this, and he may not get through this time without suffering as he struggles to find his place and any love whatsoever...

If you liked the "Welease Woger!" skit in Monty Python's Life of Brian, the how about an entire movie where the protagonist has just that quirk of speech? No matter how director Lionel Jeffries, fresh off the success of The Railway Children, tried to portray this, it still looked as if star Jacoby was putting on the affectation, and the results of that was a film which at least in its first hour was looking to be too cute to believe. In its tries at generating audience affection for its title character, you could find there was a fine line between ingratiating and downright annoying, with Jacoby one of a number of precocious kids in seventies movies who might rub the viewer up the wrong way.

See also Robby Benson in the treacly Jeremy, and that uncertainty of tone where the smarter than their years, deeply sensitive youngsters were intended to be regarded as appealing yet were couched in a cloying and overly sentimental setting was an irritant of many a drama on both television and film throughout the decade. As the kids had supposedly lost their innocence about the world and were wise to the foibles of the adults who were meant to know better yet were exposed as frauds when they were no more capable than their offspring, the general tone was of a society passing on some very bad psychological habits onto their children, so what if those children were aware of this?

For some reason, though there were rather harsh depictions of the young in selected works, Ken Loach's Kes springs to mind, elsewhere precocity was the order of the day, and they didn't come much more precocious than Baxter, what with his exclamation mark and all. For about half of this, Jeffries could not find the right approach at all, uncertain at whether we were intended to laugh at the boy for his quirky sense of humour, or fall for him in a mothering sort of way as he seemed like he needed a hug from a maternal type who was definitely not his abrasive mother, a woman spectacularly unsuitable to be a parent, no matter the position of privilege she had achieved for her son. He seems to find someone who could guide him positively at least three times here, though maybe he simply needs a girlfriend, but fate will not play ball.

First, there is his neighbour in the apartment block he now stays in, played by Britt Ekland as a free-spirited type who recognises Roger's loneliness and befriends him; her boyfriend (Jean-Pierre Cassel) has the makings of a very decent father figure too, but this develops into grating scenes of them having fun together (singing showtunes, that sort of thing) which curdle as Roger realises he cannot have fun at all. Then there was the speech therapist, played by Patricia Neal as a grandmotherly figure who has a no-nonsense attitude to his defects but also a well of compassion that may be his best chance at growing up with some semblance of normality. The girlfriend role went to Sally Thomsett, who spies on Roger from across the court, and seems worth getting to know. Yet everything here was cruelly snatched away in the latter stages, leading to curious scenes reminiscent of a drugs trip for the boy as he breaks down, drawing the conclusion he's in for an equally unhappy adulthood. Really, this was all over the place, but Jeffries' concern almost rescued it. Music by Michael J. Lewis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 227 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: