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||IMDB Rating: 6.1/10 from 407 votes
||Release: 18 February 1958 (West Germany) /
||Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical
||Director: Henry Levin,
||Stars: Arthur O'Connell, Bradford Jackson, Charles M. Galloway, Dolores Michaels, Jeanette Nolan, Matt Crowley, Pat Boone, Shirley Jones
||Synopsis: Chicagoan Nick Conover received a suspended sentence for being caught joyriding in a stolen car, with his driver's license suspended indefinitely. Nicky's problems are seen as running around with the wrong crowd. Nicky's sentence is predicated on him living at the run down Kentucky horse farm of his Aunt Henrietta and Uncle Jed Bruce, who he hasn't seen since he was a child. The judge figured this more wholesome environment would get Nicky away from his bad influences. Henrietta wants to be a part of Nicky's salvation, but Jed doesn't trust the fact of a delinquent being under his roof, although he has other more personal reasons not having to do with Nicky for his initially antagonistic relationship with his nephew. Nicky doesn't rebel against farm life, but ends up gravitating toward anything mechanical, especially the sports car owned by sophisticated Fran Templeton - the elder daughter of Dan Templeton, who owns the luxurious neighboring horse farm - and by association Fran ... Written by Huggo
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Having ran across this film on the Fox movie channel on a lazy Friday
afternoon, I can think of no better way to spend a lazy Friday evening
then putting in my two cents worth. Especially when you consider the
lack of user comments on it. Doesn't every movie, good or bad deserve
more than four comments? And this movie isn't bad at all.
The first thing to keep in mind when watching a film like April Love is
to remember the era from which it came, in this case the late fifties.
Films were pretty much a happy medium back then. The cinemas were
devoid of tragedy while the screens were filled with wide screen
Technicolor films in order to pry people away from the gray glare of
the evil medium in a box called television. I don't know how many
people were pried away from the boob tube to see this one, but it
managed to capture my attention for 97 minutes.
Teen Idol Pat Boone plays Nick Conover, a young teen sent to live with
his Aunt Henrietta (Jeanette Nolan) and Uncle Jed (Arthur O'Connell)
out in the country after being put on probation for stealing a car. It
seems that his Aunt and Uncle have lost their own son (Jed Jr.)so Uncle
Jed seems has lost his zest for living. Aunt Henrietta is hoping that
Nick being on the farm will somehow bring Jed out of his doldrums.
Story lines like this being what they are, Jed and Nick don't really
care for each other too much of course. Nick then proceeds to meet up
with the neighbors, Fran (Dolores Michaels)and Liz (Shirley
Jones)Templeton. Immediately Nick develops a crush on Fran, and of
course I don't have to tell you that Liz develops a crush on Nick. Then
there's the matter of Uncle Jed's horse, a trotter who has turned wild
and won't let anyone handle him since the death of Jed Jr. You could
probably fill in everything that happens from that point on your own,
seeing as how there are no real surprises. Doesn't matter though,
you'll enjoy yourself anyway.
Once you get over the image of squeaky clean Pat Boone, as a supposedly
bad boy, you'll have no trouble with the rest of the film. Considering
that, Boone does turn in a surprisingly good performance as Nick.
Certainly the role doesn't require much depth, but still it's a nicely
done job when you would least expect it. As Jed, Arthur O'Connell is
the perfect choice for the role. In the early going, he is unreachable
and cold, but as he slowly warms up to Nick, we see that he's really a
pretty good guy. Jeannette Nolan is a lot of fun as Henrietta, who is
constantly playing the part of mediator between Jed and Nick. Shirley
Jones takes a break from Rodgers And Hammerstein and gets a few
opportunities to grace us with her singing talents. As Liz, she's
gorgeous to look at, great to listen to, and quite funny at times.
Dolores Michaels as Fran, who is a bit more on the wild side, is
The best thing about April Love, is that there is not a true mean
conniving character of any sort on the screen. Not one true villain in
the whole thing. Everybody is so darn likable you can't help but enjoy
the film. I truthfully find it quite refreshing, sort of like putting
your troubles behind you and enjoying a summer picnic with friends.
Think of it as the old Andy Griffith show with musical numbers, a
little more plot, and wide screen Technicolor. The songs are a mixed
bag, with the title song April Love being the best of them. Another
thing I really liked is that they didn't fall back on using blue screen
backdrops during the horse racing sequences, and they quite a bit more
entertaining and exciting because of it. As a matter of fact, you'll
find the whole film beautifully photographed and it was nice to see
they didn't skimp in that department. The chemistry between Jones and
Boone is good. Best of all is how the dislike between Nick and Jed is
portrayed as each try in some way to gain the others respect.
This movie will never be confused with great cinema. Yet, sometimes
instead of going to Disneyland, one just needs a nice outing in the
park, and that's what April Love is.
My Grade: B+
Tags for April Love Full Movie
, Bradford Jackson
, Charles M. Galloway
, Dolores Michaels
, Jeanette Nolan
, Matt Crowley
, Pat Boone
, Shirley Jones
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