HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Free Solo
Mifune: The Last Samurai
Stan and Ollie
Girl in the Spider's Web, The
Up from the Depths
Guardians of the Tomb
November Man, The
Overlord
Sebastiane
Lifechanger
Circle of Two
Hell Fest
Oklahoma!
Nutcracker and the Four Realms, The
Vigilante Force
Haunting of Sharon Tate, The
Paradox
Peppermint
Sharkwater Extinction
Isn't It Romantic
Sink the Bismarck!
Possum
Submergence
Slaughterhouse Rulez
Atalante, L'
Halloween
Maurice
Hannah
Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach
Edmond
   
 
Newest Articles
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
   
 
  All Mine to Give The day they gave babies awayBuy this film here.
Year: 1957
Director: Alan Reisner
Stars: Glynis Johns, Cameron Mitchell, Rex Thompson, Patty McCormack, Ernest Truex, Hope Emerson, Alan Hale Jr, Sylvia Field, Royal Dano, Reta Shaw, Stephen Wooton, Butch Bernard, Yolanda White, Rita Johnson, Ellen Corby
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Across a snowswept stretch of Wisconsin, twelve year old Robbie Eunson (Rex Thompson) drags a sled on which sits his youngest sister, sobbing her heart out because she is being given away to another family. Their sad story began in 1856 when Scottish immigrant Robert Eunson (Cameron Mitchell) and his wife Jo (Glynis Johns) arrived in the burgeoning town of Eureka, Wisconsin. Although the entire community pull together to help the Eunsons build their home, it is a hard struggle as Robert toils as a logger to earn enough money to start his own boat building business and Jo works hard to raise their six children, three boys and three girls with Robbie the eldest. When Robert succumbs to diptheria, young Robbie adopts his role as man of the house, selflessly sacrificing his schooling to support his family. Then when Jo contracts typhoid she summons Robbie to her death-bed and asks him to perform a sorrowful task which he handles as well as any adult could.

Given this film’s alternative title is: The Day They Gave Babies Away, it is not hard to guess what terrible burden Mrs. Eunson lays upon her poor, traumatised twelve year old son. Based on a heartbreaking true story, this vintage RKO drama shares notable plot similarities with the later, infamous Ann-Margret weepie Who Will Love My Children? (1983). Shot in warm, vibrant tones by William Shall with an emotive yet admirably restrained score from Max Steiner, All Mine to Give ranks among the most affecting Christmas movies ever made. For it is indeed on Christmas morning that young Robbie treks through the wintery cold to place each of his siblings in a loving home.

While the premise admittedly sounds hopelessly lachrymose and depressing, the film’s subtext is subtly upbeat as it reaffirms America’s self-image as the land that adopts outcasts and refugees to forge a brighter future. The experience of the Eunson children, scattered across the land but presumably nurtured to grow strong and prosperous, mirrors the life of every American pioneer to a degree. Not for anything does the script highlight the fact Robbie is born on the day Columbus discovered America. The film is equally an ode to community spirit as the townsfolk, save for crabby busybody Mrs. Runyon (Reta Shaw), repeatedly rally to the Eunson’s need whether assembling their log cabin or finding a home for the children.

It is a film of two halves, the first a pioneer story focused on the hardships endured by Robert and Jo as they strive to carve their slice of the American dream: poverty, sickness, prejudice, back-breaking work, etc. Scottish viewers will likely balk at the cutesy caricatures served up here, but aside from an admittedly dodgy accent Cameron Mitchell is otherwise solid and engaging. But it is Glynis Johns - perhaps best known as the dotty suffragette mum in Mary Poppins (1964) - who anchors the occasionally heavy-handed sentimentality of the first half and brings great pathos and dignity to her role.

Child star Patty McCormack, trying to shed her image as The Bad Seed (1956), acquits herself well as motherly eldest daughter Annabelle, however the second half of the film truly belongs to Rex Thompson, who played Deborah Kerr’s son in The King and I (1956). Thompson is deeply affecting as he goes about the task of distributing his siblings like Christmas gifts with a maturity that only occasionally cracks to reveal the heartbroken child buried within. “She didn’t even wave goodbye”, Robbie laments as one of his youngest sisters is carted away. Alan Reisner depicts the concluding events with understated warmth and a great deal of honesty about the way children react during a crisis, including some welcome comedy as the brothers debate whether to entrust their sister to the care of the local schoolteacher.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3748 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: