Christian BoyLove Forum #64250
I had so much to do today and then I made the grand mistake of turning on the TV and checking out Turner Classic Movies. Does anyone here ever watch TCM? As luck would have it, one of my all time favorite classic movies was on and I just had to watch it till the end. There are some movies for me that are like that, this is one of them. I had almost forgotten how much I dearly love this one. So I figured I would come here and do a revue about it and when I saw that our newest poster wants to start a thread about child actors, I figure this could be my contribution.
The movie I am referring to is the classic "Captains Courageous" made in 1937 and starring Spencer Tracy and boy actor Freddie Bartholomew. It is the screen adaption of the novel by Rudyard Kipling. Spencer Tracy won an Oscar for best actor, which I believe was well deserved. In fact, I would say this is arguably the best role of his career. This wonderful movie is a coming of age tale about a spoiled young rich boy (Harvey Cheyne), played brilliantly by Freddie Bartholomew, who falls overboard from his father's trans-Atlantic steamship. He is rescued by a Portuguese-American fisherman, Manuel Fidello, played by Spencer Tracy. He must spend time aboard the fishing schooner where Manuel is employed because Harvey cannot convince the captain to take him to shore or that his father is a very rich man. The captain offers him a low paying job aboard the schooner until they can return to port in two months. The boy has no other choice but to accept the captain's offer.
This is the classic and wonderful story of the love and friendship that develops between the crusty fisherman, Manuel, and the spoiled rich boy, Harvey. Spencer Tracy plays this part as if he were born to do it. Maybe he was. And young Freddie is just as wonderful and convincing in his role. The two don't hit it off right away, but you can actually see the love that Manuel has for young Harvey in his eyes. There must have been an off-screen friendship and bond that happened between the two because the bond they have on-screen is obviously genuine. It is just beautiful to watch young Harvey begin to appreciate the hard lifestyle of a fisherman during that period in time (I believe around the mid 1800's) as he and Manuel become close friends. Tragically, Manuel dies while they are at sea and young Harvey is almost devastated. But when he is reunited with his father, he is a very changed boy. He is a mature, kind and thoughtful boy, and his father is grateful to the late Manuel for what he has done for his son.
I cannot recommend this movie enough, it is a classic in every sense of the word. This is one of those jems that you HAVE to see at least once in your life. Rent or buy this movie and check it out, you will not be dissapointed. I give it my highest rating.