|JOHNNY TREMAIN (director: Robert Stevenson; screenwriters: Tom Blackburn/based on the novel by Esther Forbes; cinematographer: Charles P. Boyle; editor: Stanley Johnson; music: George Bruns; cast: Sebastian Cabot (Jonathan Lyte), Luana Patten (Priscilla Lapham), Virginia Christine (Mrs. Lapham), Jeff York (James Otis), Hal Stalmaster (Johnny Tremain), Rusty Lane (Samuel Adams), Dick Beymer (Rab Silsbee), Whit Bissell (Josiah Quincy), Walter Sande (Paul Revere), Walter Coy (Doctor Joseph Warren), Will Wright (Ephraim Lapham), Ralph Clanton (General Gage), Lumsden Hare (Admiral Montagu), Gavin Gordon (Col. Smith), Geoffrey Toone (Major Pitcairn); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Walt Disney; Buena Vista Film (Disney DVD); 1957)|
|"The film works better as a
kid adventure film than as an adult one."
by Dennis Schwartz
a Walt Disney adventure film based
on the 1944 Newbery Medal
winning novel by Esther Forbes. The screenplay
is by Tom Blackburn. It takes place
during the American Revolution. Veteran filmmaker
Robert Stevenson ("King Solomon's
Mines"/"Mary Poppins"/"Jane Eyre") keeps a good eye
out for detail and gets it historically accurate.
1773, the young Johnny Tremain (Hal
Stalmaster, age 16) is an apprentice silversmith in
Boston. He's also friends with Paul
Revere (Walter Sande). Johnny accidentally burns
his hand while handling the melted silver and because
he cannot use his hand any more he can no longer be a
silversmith. When falsely accused of theft by a
Royalist (Sebastian Cabot), it leads to
Johnny becoming a secret messenger for The
Sons of Liberty. Johnny will play a part in the
American Revolution by participating in The
Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's Ride, and the
battles of Lexington and Concord.
film works better as a kid adventure film than as an
adult one. What the film lacks for adult viewers is
a sense of urgency for the Revolution. It also seems
better suited for television, as originally
intended, than as a movie.
Luana Patten plays Johnny's
girlfriend. Rusty Lane
plays Samuel Adams, someone Johnny helps. Dick
Beymer plays Johnny's best friend.
Sebastian Cabot plays the wealthy
Royalist, who commissioned the fancy teapot in which
Johnny injured himself when his boss Will Wright
said he was too old to do the job and turned it over
to the apprentice.
I can't say I liked it as much as I tolerated it.
REVIEWED ON 7/3/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ