- A delightful allegory of human nature. 9/19/2003 12:00:00 AM by Tom Murray
I have never seen anything by Thornton Wilder that I have not loved, including this film. Mr. Theophilus North is new to a small, wealthy town and he has a special healing power. He is a gentle, loving man who befriends a rich recluse (One of Robert Mitchum's most interesting roles since Night of the Hunter), who is being kept in sick mode by his family for their own devious goals: to hurry his death and their inheritance. When his power becomes known, he gains many friends and a few enemies. Theophilus North (Theophilus is from the Greek and means Lover of God) is a little reminiscent of Jesus and the film is an allegory of human nature: the desire, of everyone, to be healed and the desire of the powerful to maintain the status quo. The film is another Huston family project: John assisted with the delightful screenplay; Danny directed; Angelica and Alegra acted. I highly recommend the film to anyone who likes films that are unusual.
- A Pleasant Small Movie 3/3/2007 12:00:00 AM by Paul-271
This is hardly an epic movie, but then again, it doesn't need to be. As another reviewer said, there are no aliens, nothing horrid occurs, no crashing soundtrack nor is there some deep dark message which You Must Get to enjoy the movie being thrown at you.
Instead, this is a quiet way to pass a little bit more than an hour of time. Can you really ask that much more of a film? Given, the nastiness inherent in most modern films, I'd say that it's more than you'll probably find at your local cinamaplex these days.
The cast is fine to exceptional with Mitchem in one of his last and most interesting roles, Huston looking terrific and Edwards as, well, Edwards. Helped by a rather stellar supporting cast, I can recommend this film to you as a full family type of event. By all means - take the kids and by the film's end, you'll all be in a better mood.
- Very likable. 1/19/2012 12:00:00 AM by MartinHafer
I think I scored this slight film as high as I did because not only did it have a likable script and likable characters, but it was also nice for an old film buff like me because the film features a couple surprising appearances in supporting roles. Although big stars, Robert Mitchum, Angelica Huston and Lauren Bacall provide support to a film anchored, surprisingly, by a young Anthony Edwards. I say surprisingly because this was well before his "ER" days. Sure, he'd appeared in "Revenge of the Nerds" and "Top Gun", but he was still far from being a star--yet here, the entire film rests on his shoulders--very capable shoulders it turned out to be.
Edwards stars as Theophilus North--a very poor graduate of one of the elite universities in the nation. Being poor, he makes a living as a reader to the rich elite in Newport, Rhode Island during the 1920s. While he has a relatively lowly job, his incredibly sweet personality make him a guy people just seem to like. And, being very thoughtful and kind, you can't help but root for the guy. Eventually, he does make a name for himself--and gains some fame as a faith healer--although he keeps telling people he is NOT a miracle worker--just a guy with a strange physical anomaly. I could say a lot more about the film--but really don't want to ruin it.
The film has a very simple story and modest pretensions. It is NOT a big-name Hollywood production and yet, oddly, the film has great support and a nice script. It's not brilliant--but quirky and likable. See this one if you want to see what Hollywood can do IF they don't look for huge special effects, explosions and the like. Very likable and endearing.
- Surprise - Nostalgic, Charming & Well-Acted (but weirdly written) 4/8/2010 12:00:00 AM by bbbbosma
I have to admit that I am fascinated by this movie. It has some of the best acting I ever have seen set beside some of the most ill-at-ease.
You can feel the influence of Thornton Wilder in the dialogue as the words trill across the ear. But it seems at times that the writer started out to write a play & ended up with a movie.
There is an enormous charm to this movie. The writing is a bit ... odd... at times, but creates a compelling story.
The acting is incredibly sweet and natural, for the most part (Mitchum is painfully awkward at first, Bacall overacts, and a couple of small parts are acted like a middle school play).
Anthony Edwards as Mr. North is astoundingly superb. Honestly, I am "shocked" at how charming he makes this character.
The writing may have helped the acting, actually, as it seems that cast must push against the occasionally slow screenplay to make their words more believable. It's almost a marvel to behold how good some of the acting is at times.
I wish my kids would sit still long enough to see a sweet movie like this.
If you want to be in a better mood, watch this charming movie.
- " I want you to take my fortune and search the world for the finest Thinkers " 2/9/2010 12:00:00 AM by thinker1691
In the late years of his life, actor Robert Mitchum played a number of roles which in my opinion miss their mark. From his acclaimed mountain man, Moon-shine whiskey runner in 'Thunder Road' to his heroic role in 'Winds of War', he was always a great actor and a bit larger than life. In this movie called " Mr. North " he plays an aging but wealthy patriarch Mr. Bosworth bent on doing something right for the world and his pet project. That project involves a remarkable young man named Theophilus North (Anthony Edwards) who it seems has a special gift and shocking personality which the town finds so incredible. Mrs. Cranston (Lauren Bacall), Henry Simmons (Harry Dean Stanton) and Persis Bosworth Tennyson (Anjelica Huston) find the young man remarkable and personable and seek to help him. In fact, with the exception of Doctor McPherson (David Warner) the town physician, everyone believes he is a natural 'Healer' something he emphatically denies. The movie is slow to develop but is seriously dramatic in that the individual is notably compassionate and wonderfully likable. A good and sincere film and one for Mitchum and Becall fans which make it worth seeing. ****