A classic film featuring a boy who is able to hear what the racehorses at the track are thinking. Using his knowledge of their moods, he figures out how well they will run, and tells his ... See full summary »
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins,
In 1936, seven prisoners escape from a concentration camp. Nazis put up seven crosses for demonstrative executions. The story focuses on one of the fugitives, who relies on own courage and compassion of people to avoid the seventh cross.
At the beginning of the film, Big Jim calls over a First Sergeant. His stripes are incorrect for that rank as he is missing the third "down" stripe. The diamond in the center is correct, however. See more »
More about cultural differences than its overt message
Since much of this film is the kind of sentimental tripe offered up by Hollywood in the post-war era, it would not have rated as highly with me if it wasn't for the very strong and clear underlying message about cultural bigotry. The character of the Chinese servant, Sui Jen, has a huge impact on the boy who has lost his mother. When the father ceases to be emotionally available to his son, he steps in to fill the void. He teaches the kid important lessons, and then teaches others to the father. While all the other characters in the film are the same, cardboard cut-out, fifties' types, Sui Jen's is a gentle rebel in his subservient role. For example, when the father is too wrapped up in his own grief, and drink, to buy his son new clothes, Sui Jen gets him Chinese clothes. The point is made. When busy-body neighbor women are aghast that the boy is learning about more than one God, the chaplain investigates and learns that the boy knows The Lord's Prayer in Chinese! And then the kid tells him that 'in heaven, they understand all languages!' Much of what this film portrays is bland, predictable and pedestrian, but it is the references to cultural differences that set it apart from other films of its ilk.
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