(out of 5)
Moving film adaptation of the novel by Carson McCullers. A deaf-mute man (Alan Arkin) leaves town to follow his only friend (Chuck McCann) who has been placed in an asylum. In his new location he rents a room in the house of an impoverished family whose father is unable to work since an accident put him in a wheelchair. The daughter of the house (a superb Sondra Locke) is a burgeoning teenager who is about to experience the difficulties of adolescence, while Arkin makes the friendship of a racist doctor (Percy Rodrigues) whose daughter (Cicely Tyson) has her own troubles when a bunch of white teenagers attack her boyfriend. It feels more like a novel than a movie, with its small-arcs and character details, but the direction and performances are excellent and it is never for a moment boring. Arkin is delicately sympathetic, his hushed mannerisms and quiet emotionality perfectly opposed to Locke’s brash, fiery rages.
Directed by Robert Ellis Miller
Cinematography by James Wong Howe
Music by Dave Grusin
Production Design by LeRoy Deane
Costume Design by Albert Wolsky
Film Editing by John F. Burnett