This year’s winner of my “The Most Compelling Film” was “Peter Ford: Little Prince.” Peter Ford is actor Glenn Ford’s son and only child. His mother is Eleanor Powell, who was a top dancer during the heyday of Hollywood musicals. Ford was close to his mother, but his father never showed interest in being a nurturing father to Peter.
When he was 14, Glenn Ford abandoned the family altogether. Little Peter felt the longing for his father’s love, attention and guidance. But it just wasn’t there; rather it was a fine expose of egocentric negligence.
Only the USAFF brings great old movies to our screens. “Children of Paradise” (1945), recently restored, was truly beautifully photographed in France during WWII. Enchanting.
Another film presented was “Dorfman” starring Elliott Gould, the veteran actor of such fine films as “M*A*S*H.” He was in attendance, which made it special, but little could have saved us from the under-conceived banality of the film itself. So sad.
The following night there was “Magic of Belle Isle” directed by Rob Reiner, who was also in attendance.
He answered my question of why there was a Dallas ADR studio mentioned in the credits. He said the star of the film (besides Morgan Freeman), Emma Fuhrmann, is from Flower Mound and had to do some looping close to home.
Both of these films are centered around an irritable aging man losing interest in life due to their loss of beloved wives. Both of the men find a rejuvenated zest for life after meeting people who inspire them to carry on.
Also in attendance was Bert I. Gordon (“The Amazing Colossal Man”), who is known for having produced dozens of Hollywood “B” pictures, many having to do with either oversized or undersized people. Too cool.
Once again, the USAFF provided lively, interesting opportunities to meet and interact with the guests’ favorite Hollywood luminaries, some of whom are on their way up. Let’s hope the politics of festivalling will not get in the way of having two vastly different film festival experiences in Dallas for years to come.