HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dondi It's The Little Orphan Boy
Year: 1961
Director: Albert Zugsmith
Stars: David Janssen, Patti Page, David Kory, Walter Winchell, Mickey Shaughnessy, Robert Strauss, Arnold Stang, Louis Quinn, Gale Gordon, Dick Patterson, Susan Kelly, John Melfi, Bonnie Scott, William Wellman Jr, Nola Thorp, Joan Staley
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Christmas Eve on this American Army base in Italy, and most of the soldiers have headed off into town to enjoy themselves before the big day, all except two, Dealey (David Janssen) and Peewee (Arnold Stang). Dealey is planning to head off soon, but cannot persuade his comrade to join him as Peewee wants an early night, so after opening a couple of presents he goes out into the snow - and sees a little kid (David Kory) who has been staring forlornly in through the window. He is an orphan, and little does Dealey know that he will be making up a big part of his life from now on...

Or he will if you were a fan of legendarily bad movies, as Dondi became one of the most notoriously awful family films ever made. Much of that reputation was down to the Medveds in their book The Golden Turkey Awards where they awarded poor old David Kory the gong for Most Obnoxious Child Performer of All Time, but surely he couldn't have been a horrendous as they would have had their readers believe? Well... if he didn't actively make you vomit in his sickly sentimentality, then perhaps that was no proud boast, as he was patently far from impressive. However, that was not entirely his fault.

Put most of the blame on producer and director Albert Zugsmith, a man who had brought classics like The Incredible Shrinking Man and Touch of Evil to the screen in the fifties, but by the time he had set up on his own was overseeing such trash as The Private Lives of Adam and Eve and Sex Kittens Go to College. And Dondi, his shameless attempt to court the lucrative family audience, offering a lead character who children would want to befriend and adults would want to protect as if he was their offspring, though the unkinder viewer might ponder if he wasn't an orphan after all and his parents had actually sent him out onto the streets so as not to hear that stuffed up monotone anymore.

Seriously, Dondi, it wouldn't hurt to blow your nose before a take, then it wouldn't sound as if you were struggling with a nasty head cold. In light of Kory's absolute disappearance from the entertainment world and indeed any kind of limelight after this starring role, we have to assume he was far from pleased with his efforts to appeal to the mass audience, and little wonder when he heard the reviews which pulled no punches whatsoever. For that pathetic reason it's possible to feel sorry for the tyke after all, not because of anything that happened in his movie but because of the overwhelmingly scathing reaction, although if you did actually track this down even the kindest hearted audience would be cringing and groaning well before "The End" appeared on the screen.

Based on a comic strip by Gus Edson, who Zugsmith wrote the script with, that was reputedly little better than its movie incarnation though it outstayed its welcome by decades rather than the hour and a half the movie does. The plot sees the G.I.s (or "Mister G.I. Buddies!" as Dondi's broken English would have it) adopt the moppet as a mascot, then have to leave him behind mere hours later when they are all posted back home to New York City, but don't despair, fans of illegal immigrants, Dondi stows away on the ship. The latter half sees him separated from Dealey - who has to explain the situation to erstwhile singing star Patti Page playing his frosty girlfriend - and living on the streets where with grinding inevitability he picks up a stray dog as a friend, supposedly upping the cuteness factor but in effect increasing the resistance factor. Seemingly with Tarzan as his dialogue coach, Dondi shuffles his way through fingernails down a blackboard setpieces of would-be heartwarming treacle, commercial cynicism more evident than any good intentions. Weird harmonica score by Tommy Morgan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4116 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: