Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Canada, 1975. Canadian Film Development Corporation, Pentacle VIII Productions, Pentimento Productions. Story and Screenplay by Ted Allan. Cinematography by Arpad Makay, Paul Van der Linden. Produced by Anthony Bedrich, Harry Gulkin. Music by Sol Kaplan. Production Design by Michel Proulx. Costume Design by Francois Barbeau. Film Editing by Edward Beyer, Richard Marks. Academy Awards 1975. Golden Globe Awards 1975.
Loveable charmer based on writer Ted Allan’s reminiscences of his childhood growing up in Montreal. Young David is being raised by his hopelessly entrepreneurial father (Len Birman), who can never get a business off the ground, his frustrated but loving mother (a delightful Marilyn Lightstone), and, most endearingly, his wise and religious Orthodox Jewish grandfather (Yossi Yadin). The old man drives a horse-drawn rag cart around the city and the boy goes everywhere with him, taking in his philosophies of life and applying them in the ways that only a bumbling child can do. It’s a warm and witty film that is enjoyable from beginning to end, blessed with terrific performances and marred only by the jarring presence of Jeff Lynas as David, possibly one of the worst and most awkward child actors ever put on screen; it isn’t long before his voice is enough to make you cringe. Somehow the film makes up for him, though.