The Golden Boys boasts a cast that includes David Carradine, Bruce Dern, Rip Torn and Mariel Hemingway. It's ambitious for an indie film -- a period piece set on the 1905 coast of Massachusetts.
The Golden Boys
Cast: David Carradine, Mariel Hemingway, Bruce Dern, Rip Torn, Michael Savage.
Director: Daniel Adams.
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes.
Industry rating: unrated, worthy of a G.
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Three grizzled old sea captains have retired to sleepy Chatham, Mass. They get along well enough, but the house is a mess. Their solution isn't a housekeeper. No, one of them must marry somebody to be their housekeeper.
They draw lots and Capt. Jerry (Torn) loses. Capt. Perez (Dern) suggests they advertise for a bride in a newspaper. Capt. Zeb (Carradine) is bemused enough to go along with it.
When the woman (Hemingway) arrives, she tosses the trio into a tizzy. Or she would if the film had more life to it. Director Daniel Adams, adapting a book by Joseph C. Lincoln, had enough skill to lure the talent. He just didn't know what to do with them. Elementary mistakes such as knowing where to put the camera, getting another, livelier take from the veteran actors in the cast and simple pacing bog the movie down. Accents come and go, and the players rarely lift their game to the whimsy this requires.
Carradine underplays, Torn seems to get the hang of the character and his accent, eventually. And Dern's awkward way with the sea terminology ruins his credibility.
"Don't go on your beam ends, Jerry." Lubbers, the lot of them.
Hemingway, however, still has the spark. Why isn't she playing a Desperate Housewife or sexy authority figure on TV?
There are distractions such as the local billiard hall owner (John Savage) getting a license to serve rum in a town where the temperance league is headed by the fiery fundamentalist Capt. Bartlett (a very aged Charles Durning), the possible courtship of a young engineer and the new school marm (Angelina Torn, Rip's daughter). Adams lists Julie Harris in the cast but only shows her in a couple of shots, not even whole scenes.
The Golden Boys makes good use of its salty Cape Cod setting. It's a pity the filmmakers couldn't make better use of four Oscar nominees and a Golden Globe nominee in the cast.