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The Private War of Major Benson


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For any of you who have never seen this film, finish your dinner then sit down to enjoy a pure fun film. I can't imagine what it was nominated for but little Tim Hovey is a doll. You have never seen Charleton Heston in this kind of role before. He actually does pratt falls, makes awful mistakes with nuns and is totally different from anything you've ever imagined him to be. The whole family can sit down for this one and probably love it. So, sit back and enjoy one hour and 40 minutes of good family fun tonight.

 

Anne

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Heston really is surprising in this movie, isn't he? He plays it perfectly straight, which is just right for the straight-laced character he portrays. I would have liked to see him in more light fare - he could have easily developed an Adam West-like, tall, handsome, macho but wry, persona. Tim Hovey is really cute, and don't overlook young Sal Mineo as the "senior officer."

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jdb1:

 

I forgot about Sal Mineo being in it.

 

Miss Goddess:

 

You're right, I would have liked to see him do some more light stuff. He's so thought of as the hard officer type, that this one is a real shocker for his fans.

 

Anne

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He's a good "straight man", is Chuckie! ;) Which makes him all the funnier. He doesn't "try to be funny" and that's why it works. There are moments in Will Penny which also bring out this quality, but the vast majority of his movies seem relentlessly humorless.

 

Miss G

Charlton%20Heston.jpg

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[nobr]I caught a few moments of the very likable Tim Hovey trying to keep his little pants from falling down on the parade ground at the military school depicted in this movie, and instantly recognized that he was the little guy who'd enchanted me in The Toy Tiger (1956), a Jeff Chandler movie about an artist and a small boy. A wise youngster, Hovey instantly recognized that Chandler would fit the bill presented by his imagination as a potential "explorer Dad" in that gentle little movie, which features some wonderfully funny and tender scenes between the Hovey and Chandler. Does anyone else remember The Toy Tiger?[/nobr]

 

[nobr]Alas, I looked up Tim Hovey's bio to see how he'd fared in his later career, only to discover the sad news that, after serving as a road manager for The Grateful Dead in the '70s and '80s, he succumbed to a drug overdose at age 44 in 1989. So much for the hurly-burly of show biz. Another sad, cautionary tale from the tinsel factory--and the baby boomers generation. Hovey's death, along with Rusty Hamer's suicide, helped to inspire Paul Peterson to found A Minor Consideration, his advocacy group designed to protect young performers.[/nobr]

 

[nobr]Well, the lad could charm the birds from the trees, at one time. Glad it's on film.[/nobr]

hoveytim308hopt.jpg

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"Toy Tiger" was similar to "Major Benson:" small boy, very tall, macho man, melted hearts, etc. They are both very good of that type.

 

I really enjoyed seeing "Major Benson" again last night. The only thing that annoyed me was the obvious and not especially skillful sound dubbing. I suppose this is often necessary when filming kids, to have to re-do their lines. To me, such looping sounds as if the speaker were standing in an echo closet, projecting his voice. Oh, well, a minor point. Tim Hovey was very good, no question. It goes to show that child performers can be cute without making you gag.

 

I was once again impressed by Heston's performance - you could call it somewhat fearless, poking fun at his he-man image, and taking some pretty good spills and pratfalls, though not as expert as the ones done by William Demarest. I always enjoy seeing Sal Mineo, and it was fun to hear how much of the Bronx was still in his speech at that age. He "poshed" his speech up a bit more as he went along. It's a really charming film. The brief description in the TV section of the NY Times yesterday called it a "well rounded comedy." I agree.

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I really enjoyed this movie, mostly because of Tim Hovey. What a little doll-baby! I just wanted to hug him to pieces. I almost skipped this film because I'm no big fan of Mr. Heston (too stiff and righteous for me), but I'm sure glad I didn't.

 

What a shame ~ It's so sad that Tim Hovey came to the end that he did. I was curious about him too, but Songbird2, you saved me some research. I haven't had time with work today and trying to get some sleep last night to start looking around for info on him. Thanks for the mini-update (too bad it's such a sad ending).

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