Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Help!


wizzard
 Share

Recommended Posts

One of the very best prestige productions of MGM during that banner, incredible year of 1939! Good old Lionel Barrymore was never better, in a role that suited him perfectly. There was a lot of sentiment to this movie that in affect made it one of the hit films of the year. The play upon somebody cheating death or trying to not accept the nature of things was an irresistible point that easily captivated audiences. The ending to the film was quite poignant. It seemed so appropriate to the understanding that time and circumstance must change things. There was a clear signification that we move on to whatever is the next level upon reaching the end of our lives, regardless of our selfish need to ask for more time than we really deserve on earth. My favorite character in the film is that of actor Henry Travers as ?Doc.? His role was sensational and was pivotal to the story in explaining why death is inevitable and an event we all will have to face sooner or later. There has always been a debate among movie fans concerning the death of child actor Bobs Watson in the film. Some will argue that it was too overbearing, while others say it made sense not to separate the old man from the boy. I wonder. . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to put a spoiler warning in there while you can still edit.

 

I will say though that what you bring up there is the reason why I just can't stand the film. I watched it again last week just to see if I could overcome my reservations toward the film from a long-ago viewing and if anything I dislike it even more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>clore wrote:

> I will say thought that what you bring up there is the reason why I just can't stand the film. I watched it again last week just to see if I could overcome my reservations toward the film from a long-ago viewing and if anything I dislike it even more.

 

I?m not surprised that you don?t like the film; it is rather difficult to accept along certain logical notions. It is in some respects dated by way of its social thinking and more of a fantasy than what?s expected these days. However, if you lived during the 1930s and experienced those tough times of ?The Great Depression,? then I seriously doubt you couldn?t find it in your heart to like the film or understand its sentiment. It is a movie that plays on one?s heartfelt need to find something to live for, while at the same time realize we can?t control the march of time and the unpredictably of nature; or maybe I really mean our human nature. What turns off some fans about this movie is what some believe to be the silly atmosphere of fanciful melodrama that is trying to bridge the gap between the reality one sees in the film, while at the same time the symbol of death coming across as being too practical. Certainly, the dreamlike quality of the film was in some ways visionary, towards what numerous people want to believe awaits them. In the end, ?On Barrow Time? is nothing more than a simple sort of fantasy story that expands upon human speculation about death. It?s a strange movie that speaks from the heart and then hurts you in a realistic way to pondering on what that haunting ?other side? might be like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SPOILERS BELOW

 

 

The dated aspects of the film don't bother me, I appreciate the quaintness of films made in that era. The 30s are my favorite decade of film.

 

However, since I last saw the film, I've become a grandfather and while I can on one hand understand that Gramps does not want to become separated from his grandchild, I find the script terribly manipulative. In order to hopefully endear itself to the audience, we're asked to feel better about the child dying and going on to the next world with his grandfather as opposed to staying on Earth with the "nasty" Aunt Demetria.

 

I tried to view it in some other context, but I see a child denied the ups and downs of a full life in this world in order to effect some supposedly happy ending. Sure, he may have had it rough with the plans that Demitria had in store for him, but I also come away with the thought that this was a greedy grandparent. The boy doesn't get to experience just what you expressed - that there is something to live for. In this film, Barrymore goes against the title of another of his films which declared YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. Here he manages to do just that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SPOILERS BELOW

The dated aspects of the film don't bother me, I appreciate the quaintness of films made in that era. The 30s are my favorite decade of film...I find the script terribly manipulative.

 

I agree on both, clore.

 

I watched it for the first time a loooong time ago, possibly on AMC, and cried, and I loved it.

 

Then I re-watched it, a looong time ago, on TCM I assume, or perhaps PBS.

 

I found Bobs Watson an *awful* little actor, and found the entire film pedantic, treacly, overly sentimental and finally unwatchable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No doubt about it, the issue of Bobs Watson?s child character not having had the chance to live out his life is a bit devastating to deal with. Certainly, this is where the main emphasis on any debate about ?On Barrowed Time? focuses itself upon. The idea behind this plot element was that the original author of the novel, Lawrence Edward Watkin, had signified how tough life was for everyone in the story. There was more of a family struggle to make an easy living and make things as comfortable as possible. The movie sort of shied away from this situation, not really wanting to display what the novel told of a despairing atmosphere that surrounded the old man and his love for the child. In the novel, the old man sees the boy as an extension of himself or how he once was during his childhood. Therefore, a selfish need overtakes the old man to warrant his control as well as a necessity to guide the boy and give him what he believes to be the best possible chance at life. What the old man fails to realize is that his time on earth is over and he must now allow the boy to experience the whole ordeal of life, on his own. However, there is a rather astonishing philosophy to novel in that the symbol of death decides to appease the old man and thus death lures the boy to the tree to die. The novelist Watkin is simply saying that a sacrifice will have to be made, if the old man is to understand that he can?t cheat death to the point of not accepting the nature of things. While I will agree that the movie does go a bit over-the-top in its sentiment, the original intent of the novel stays pretty much intact. So, initially the child and the old man will stay together, even in death, because they have become one in the same. There is reason to accept a notion that the boy was always better off with the old man. While the boy will never have a life on earth, he will probably be guided by the old man in the next world or that place most everyone believes is waiting for us on the other side. My point here is to try and clarify a few of the issues that seem to be annoying or don?t seem rational. But then, death isn?t exactly a popular subject to deal with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

© 2022 Turner Classic Movies Inc. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...