8/10
American south and its discontents...
21 July 2013
Carson McCullers wrote short stories on oddities and anomalies in the south and its culture. This film gives us hints of the schizophrenic nature of the south, which indeed still exists today.

The character of Frankie Addams is,without a doubt, disjointed and at times over the top. But she is at the awkward age of 14, and believes the world is revolving around her mini-drama and imagined victim-hood. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Janice and Jarvis (Frankie's older brother, headed to Camp Lejeune for boot camp and the war) are getting married, and this is a pivotal point in Frankies life. It seems nothing is good enough. Frankie is a reject in the neighborhood "treehouse club" and she is jealous (at first) of piano player Mary Littlejohn, who is more attractive to the boys of the neighborhood.

Ethel Waters and the subtext of Honey Brown, his trouble with local police, and the general prejudice of the south is touched upon.

Granted while Julie Harris is shrill and a bit annoying, it actually points to the fact that indeed her "problems" matter little in the grand scheme of things, in fact "The Wedding" itself is almost a minor aberration, when we look at the state of American culture during this era, segregation and the suffocating, alienating sense of it.

Ms. Waters sings in the film , it adds a touch of melancholy as we continue the narrative to its conclusion.Brandon De Wilde, as young Jon Henry also gives a sense of antagonism, and that "something is not quite right".

If you can get past Harris, the story itself tells of a niche in American history which no one seems to acknowledge, even at the present time. Recommended reading as well. 8/10.
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