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A few weeks back I found a family friendly movie on a cable movie station that the boys enjoyed more than they initially thought they would. It’s hard to find something that they’ll all agree upon watching when the older boys are drawn to the more violent films.
Summary of the Film:
When an 11 year old boy, Jason (played by Michael Schiffman), gets cut from his Little League baseball team, he sets out to form his own team. He persuades a school custodian, Mack Henry (played by Ossie Davis), to be the coach. The team is small with just Jason, a new girl in town, and Mr. Henry’s grandson on board. As the new coach starts working with the team, his knowledge leads the boy to suspect that the man is really an ex-Negro League legend, Buck McHenry, who disappeared from sight years ago. The kid sets out to find out the truth about the man’s background. Ossie Davis’ real-life wife also appears in the film as his wife. Former Chicago Cubs’ star, Ernie Banks, also appears as a Negro league star.
While I can not say this is a hands down favorite movie for us, it was delightful to watch. The film is definitely family friendly and some situations that could have been acted out to be graphic or scary were left more to vocalization of the event as a character recalls the past.
I love Ossie Davis’ acting and he does a fantastic job in this film. The child actors do a decent job in their roles, although they sometimes seem to be forcing things a bit. The baseball team backdrop to the film provides the opportunity to show the importance of team work.
I did like how the story brought to attention the history of the Negro League and the segregation that occurred before the civil rights movement. Finding out why Buck McHenry went disappeared shows how some people can treat others terribly. And, another lesson that is (sort of) learned is that your actions have consequences. Jason was relentless in his assertion of Mr. Henry’s secret identity and pushed even when asked to drop it. While Buck McHenry was not a wanted man in the eyes of the law, Jason’s actions could have put him in a bad situation.
What shouldn’t have surprised me is that Finding Buck McHenry was a book before it was made into a movie. I’m thinking we might have to read the book and see how true the movie is to the original story.
This post has been submitted for inclusion in The Christian Home, Issue 73 hosted here.
As the featured columnist for the Movies and Music category, you can be looking forward to weekly posts on what we are watching or music we’ve enjoyed.
Feel free to leave suggestions for me as well that are family friendly or uplifting for adults. While I have movies and some music selections in mind, I’m always on the lookout for other great choices.