Yesterday, I wrote about a charming, low-budget, independent family film, Savannah Smiles, which was made in 1982. I mentioned that, among other things, it had a a wonderful music score with an impressive half-dozen terrific songs by Ken Sutherland, and posted my favorite, the title song. I thought I'd post a couple more, as well as the film's trailer -- although to keep from dragging this out for days on end, I'll post them all here today.
First though, a few tidbits to help clean house.
If you didn't read any of the reader comments posted later, I'll mention that Nell Minow (who is an encyclopedia of such things -- and many things) wrote in to say that one of the two leads, Mark Miller, who also co-wrote the movie, turns out the be the father of the actress Penelope Ann Miller, a favorite, who has been in such films as Kindergarten Cop, Other People's Money, and Awakenings, and TV series including American Crime and Men of a Certain Age, and whose career is still going strong.
Also, talk about good timing -- in only five days, on May 22, a Blue Ray Special Collectors Edition of Savannah Smiles is going to be released.
To be clear, it's not that the movie is So Great, but that for such a low-budget, independent family film that by all rights should be treacly and cliche-ridden, it's far better than your expectation would think it has any right to be and is full of charm. (As I noted, it was named Family Film of the Year by the MPAA, the organization that rates movies.)
Anyway, I tracked down the trailer. Good news/ bad news. That was the good news, the bad is that -- well, it's awful. It really doesn't give much a sense of the film, making it seem mostly like a madcap story of misadventures about two incompetent escaped-cons. In fact, the trailer doesn't even get to the character of 'Savannah' -- for a film called Savannah Smiles (!!) -- until more than halfway through the trailer, almost like an afterthought There are fun things in the trailer, it just doesn't have much to do with what the movie is about. The one good thing about the trailer (at least for me) is that it confirms what I wrote, that I haven't seen the movie all the way through, since there are things I don't recall seeing in the very early part.
Now, on to a couple more of the songs.
In a perfect world, I'd show footage of the movie with the songs playing so that you can see them in context. They're very good on their own -- and both even had some life outside the film -- but it's always better to see such things in context, where they're even more effective. However, the footage for both that I could find on the Internet was for sequences that would give away too much of plot points. And in case anyone decides to watch the movie, I don't want to do that. So, we'll just go with the soundtrack recordings.
(Note: for those who have no intention of watching the movie and don't mind if anything is given away, I've embedded these two songs at the bottom, so you can scroll down if you want to see them in context of the movie. For everyone else who wants to hear the songs only -- )
This first song plays over the final scene and the closing credits. Certainly don't want to give that away! The opening music in this video below is very nice, but it's just scoring and if you just want to jump to the song, it starts at the 2:15 mark. It's a lovely piece, most especially when played over the last scene and end credits, called, "Love Will Never Be the Same Again"
"Pretty Girl" is apparently a song that gets requested often for father-daughter dances at weddings. (That's fitting, since in the movie, it's performed on the radio, while Mark Miller holds the 7-year-old girl in his arms, dancing her around the kitchen after she's woken up by a bad dream.) Alas, because there's more going on sequence, which cuts to other scenes, I'll leave this to the soundtrack only.
There are several other good songs throughout the movie, as well. "Another Dusty Road," for one, became a bit of a standard for the country music group who recorded it in the film, Mountain Smoke.
But for now, unless the spirit moves me, we'll end here with "Pretty Girl."
Okay, then, this is the bonus. As I mentioned, it's for people who have absolutely no intention of watching the movie, but would like to see the songs in context. Here are the videos of that.
This first is for "Pretty Girl." It should be pretty clear what's going on in the movie here, and you'll see how showing this would give away notable plot points.
And to finish, this is "Love Will Never Be the Same Again," which plays over the last scene and end credits. Just a final note to clarify the sequence -- at one point, the film fades to a flashback. It relates to a plot point referenced throughout the film, how the two main characters have been friends since childhood.
By the way, the quality of this video starts out really weird, but not to worry -- it clears up in few seconds and then all is well.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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