HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
   
 
  Hail, Hero! Daddy's Approval
Year: 1969
Director: David Miller
Stars: Arthur Kennedy, Teresa Wright, Michael Douglas, John Larch, Louise Latham, Charles Drake, Peter Strauss, Deborah Winters, Mercer Harris, Virginia Christine, Mario Alcalde, Amy Stuart, Carmen Zapata, Heather Menzies, James Nusser, John Qualen
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Carl Dixon (Michael Douglas) walks back home through the Arizona countryside, after dropping out from college, to see his family one more time before he goes off to war in Vietnam. He was not drafted, he wants to go and enlisted, but his reasons are more complex than simple patriotism since he has a father, Albert (Arthur Kennedy) who he has continually failed to impress for many years now. As he strolls along, he adopts a happy-go-lucky demeanour, and when a truck carrying some of his father's workers draws up close behind him, he uses his jacket to pretend to be a matador and plays with it, to the amusement of the occupants. They cheerily offer him a lift, and he climbs aboard, barefoot and carefree...

The Vietnam War was of course a hot topic for America, and indeed the world, in 1969, as it would be to this day, and the films about the situation were beginning to be made, though this example was far more about the ethics of those back home than it was about the fighting. The actual combat was left to other pictures and documentaries - and the nightly news, which was beaming images of terrible brutality into American homes that could not stop it breaking the nation in two on the subject of whether this was really worth the lives of their young men. Hail, Hero! on the other hand was more of a character study about the tensions one young man suffered with his father who believed he should fight after all.

Carl is shown to be a peace-loving young man, a peacenik if you will, at least in the eyes of those around him, making it a curious matter that he has decided to go off to war to please a father who will apparently never be satisfied anyway. But that was a conflict of personalities that the film did not so much struggle with, as veer away from whenever the opportunity for a serious discussion arose, preferring to digress into unsatisfying scenes where he interacted with the folks he would be leaving behind, most obviously his brother (Peter Strauss) who he knocked off a horse by flinging a snake at him a few years before and permanently damaged the brother's leg in the fall. But there was also a shot of Douglas starkers, in his debut role, as he went skinny-dipping in a local pond, summing up the confused view the film had of its titular hero.

Either he was some kind of flower child exuding an inner light of youth and positivity, or Carl was a troubled soul encapsulating the issues of following the desires of their elders and supposed betters when those desires were destructive and aggressive. That could have been a dichotomy that brought matters to a head, but it was clear the script had no idea of how to resolve what it was bringing up, and preferred its diversions into, say, a cave where Carl smokes dope with a spaced out wild woman (Louise Latham) who asks questions like "How do you wash your private parts?" Seriously, the whole thing was pretty hopelessly tone deaf when it came to tackling anything of any validity head on, and the further it went on the further Douglas's affected performance of upbeat innocence threatened with doom and gloom began to grate.

Former Hitchcock heroine Teresa Wright was there as his mother, at that stage in her career where she was fretting in maternal roles which were a waste of her talent, but it was Kennedy's blustering patriarch who the argument was with, and as both he and his son were intractable the story felt strongly like a complete waste of time, telling us nothing of the real world where people were dying in war, and nothing of the hippies since Carl was the only one we saw and didn't appear representative. It was directed by David Miller, who had helmed Michael's father Kirk Douglas's favourite role in the modern Western Lonely are the Brave of a few short years before, but that picture's spirit of rebellion and standing up to care in an uncaring world were miles away from the bromide on offer here. About the best you could say about it was the scenery was attractive. Music by Jerome Moross, with a song by Gordon Lightfoot which was more sickly sweet than perceptive, much like the movie.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 502 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: