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Duane S. (superpoet) from FORT WORTH, TX Reviewed on 3/8/2008...
This is billed as a Christmas movie, but it is much more than that. This is truly a movie emphasizing true friendship between 2 boys of extremely different backgrounds and the love of a brother for his dying sister. I am so glad that I saw it. I give it a 5 star rating. It is set in the '50s.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Wonderful holiday feature, possibly headed to classic!
Melanie Winters | Vancouver, BC | 11/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We bought ANGEL DOLL after reading about it in a piece for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis (the film has a connection to this facility). Our expectations were not high, but the film was quite a pleasant surprise. There are no big stars in the movie, but the performances are solid and believable. I've seen my share of similar plot-lines (i.e., poor kid or family overcomes hardships to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas or friendship or loyalty or whatever. But Angel Doll does not cross into hokeyville. It manages to remain true to its themes and entertaining to the viewer. For the price, it's a wonderful value for any video collection."
Heartwarming family movie Classic
Lanae | Alexandria, VA | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this movie and watched it with my family and it was most heart tugging movie, some might think its corny but, i thought it wasn't. Its a great family movie with a great storyline and plot."
One for everyone's Christmas collection
Charlotte P. Liu | Cambridge, MA USA | 01/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Heartwarming story of a brief childhood friendship that resurfaces each year through an angel doll, the most valued of all the Christmas decorations in the narrator's household.
The narrator grows up to become a renown writer, but what ever happened to Whitey? Whitey was the less fortunate of the two. His homelife was unstable and he lost his beloved sister to polio.
Though the narrator never finds his friend Whitey, we are assured that Whitey must be doing well for himself. Angel dolls are the clue."
With a name like Angel Doll, you would think this is a girl
BAM | 11/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"However, it is narrated by a BOY and is from his perspective. It should appeal to both genders. I think of it as a boy coming of age movie.
(I am moving my comments from another review to create a new review.)
My message contains spoilers:
I would like to clarify the "exposed chest" comment made in another review: the woman's [...] were not exposed in the sense of being fully nude, her well endowed "cleavage" was exposed. The young man, a paper boy, was a "victim" of the woman's brazenness--she came out on her front porch in her loosley closed bathrobe to retrieve her newspaper and "offered" a view of her front when she stooped to pick up her newspaper.
Growing up with a brother and being called Mom by three sons of my own (now grown), this scene in the movie was not a shocker for me. Boys get to an age where they begin to "notice" female anatomy. Like it or not, boobs do become a topic of discussion among adolescent boys. Yep, the word "[...]" is used to describe [...] in this movie and I imagine elsewhere as well.
The "[...]" incident and the ensuing campfire discussion along with MANY other scenes/issues dealt with in this movie are excellent conversation starters for discussion. What a wonderful way to present some sensitive topics to our children/grandchildren to help them formulate their views/values based on positive family reinforcement.
There are two scenes in the movie involving theft--one about candy and one about $[...]. While neither "theft" resulted in "justice" in terms of the perpetrators being caught and seriously punished, greater lessons were learned. While the candy theft was not dealt with directly in the film, I felt the lessons learned with the $[...] theft encompassed the candy theft. The young man gave away $[...] of his own money anonymously (repaying the "debt" of the person who actually did steal the money). It was also a gift of sacrifice and love--without being a direct punishment for his theft of candy. It is nice to have the theft topic left "open ended" on the film to allow for family discussion.
ps: The boy who steals the $[...], ends up with a new bike and never "seems" to suffer any consequences. Another discussion topic.
There is gambling in this movie. The two boys bet each other daily over who will finish their paper route first.
There is drinking, smoking, angry language and a live-in boyfriend. A young mother is widowed while either pregnant or with a new baby girl and a six year old son. Ages four and ten in this movie. The little girl is seriously ill and crippled. The family is financially destitute and the mother is hurting on many levels--she turns to alcohol to "help" her cope with the pain in her life and allows a boyfriend into their lives who is bad news. When she has been drinking, you will see her son be obedient to her--even when she is clearly being unreasonable (in my opinion). The ten year old son, "Whitey," has had to grow up beyond his years in many ways. You will see him minister his sister tenderly and read to her. His heart's desire is to give his sister an Angel Doll for Christmas--he doesn't ask for anything for himself. In spite of everything else "wrong" in his life, Whitey's heart is huge. His unconditional agape love for his sister is enough to give even the toughest among us pause to reflect on our own relationships.
As a counterpoint, the young man who narrates the story is part of a "traditional," "Leave it to Beaver" type of family. You will see this family bow their heads to say grace at the dinner table, share family time in the evenings, hear sibling squabbles, hear the young man ask for an expensive bike for himself (near the beginning of the movie) and be a part of his journey to the discovery of what is really important in life. He will also learn to give selflessly. The events in this movie are life changing for him.
Death and illness touch this movie. So does profound love and the lives it molds. The death is not shown, but is handled in a very beautiful way--Whitey is given a view of his sister as a perfect and beautiful angel. She is no longer sick or crippled. This is such a radiantly beautiful scene in the movie--my favorite.
A few possible topics of discussion:
Love for our family and others.
Inappropriate "sexual advance" by an adult--how to handle it--even when "touching" is not involved.
Drinking--why some people drink (fear, hurt, escape, feeling powerless, etc) and how we can choose better alternatives than drinking to find comfort.
Loud Angry Voices
Compassion for others
Sibling relationships--friendly and caring or otherwise
Views on serious illness--possibly terminal and/or contagious--how do we treat others? How do we address our fears about illness? (Could be polio, AIDS, cancer or even a common cold...)
Death of a child--Yep, children die through both accident and illness--sadly, even abuse.
Honesty and personal integrity
Turning "lemons" into lemonade
I laughed and I cried. Then I smiled. This is a heartwarming movie.
I rate this movie FIVE stars. It has become a holiday classic for our family. I have purchased a number of copies to give as gifts and made sure that all three of my sons have copies to share with their families. "