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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mr. North (released in 1988) - A comedy starring Anjelica Huston, Anthony Edwards, Robert Mitchum and Lauren Bacall

Mr. North is the tale of a smooth charming young man who ingratiates himself with the town's rich and famous. Adopted from the book “Theophilus North” by Thornton Wilder, the screenplay was written by John Huston practically on his death bed. The movie in itself is a family affair, with direction done by Danny Huston, and the cast consisting of Angelica Huston, Allegra Huston and Virginia Madsen, Danny's would-be-wife.
Mr. North is the story of Theophilus North, who is an alumnus of Yale, looking hard for a job. He ends up in a town where the hierarchies of rich and poor is rigidly enforced. This is the place where proper diction and manners rule roost, a place more Victorian than the Victorian era. The rich are superbly so even if their source of income is pretty dubious. Theophilus North sets himself in to the society by tutoring the kids to read, directing the summer plays and teaching them to play tennis. He also gets to know the women folk who are immersed in endless kitty parties and canasta sessions. The serving class include the parlor maids, the butlers, the grooms, page boys and all the sundry who make the rich comfortable in their place.

As the class divide is rigidly enforced, the town becomes two worlds on its own, with only Mr. North subtly navigating the breach. But the rich have their fair share of troubles with migraines, lack of love, drunkenness etc plaguing them. The older rich are kept bed ridden by kids who want their money. North comes across Mitchum Bosworth who is a wealthy owner of a brewery and is kept at his death bed by his devious daughter and a doctor friend. Now North has this wonderful ability to transmit electric current through his body. So he zaps the zits of a teenager’s nose, quells the migraines and brings in the joy. He cures Bosworth of his addiction and helps the parlor maid to get her love. Soon North is the darling of the town. But wicked people who do not like the turn of events, spread rumors of him being a quack and soon he is arrested and tried for deception. But the town rallies around him to get the good old doctor out of the gaol and Bosworth makes him the director of the institute of philosophy..
Anthony Edwards plays the the role of Mr. North to perfection. He is fresh faced, clear cut and youthful and it is impossible not to like him. North has no problem solving problems and also gets the love of young Persis who is Bosworth's grand daughter. Angelica Huston has a minute role of Persis who comes out of the house just to ride her horse. The best goes to Lauren Bacall who is the Boarding house mistress who plays a wicked game at the cards and Edward Stanton, the fake British Caretaker who is actually from Chicago. Mr. North is a feel good and spiritual movie which delivers the message of goodness in people. Especially coming from the Pulitzer prize winner Thornton Wilder, it is one great outing.

Mr. North (released in 1988) - A comedy starring Anjelica Huston, Anthony Edwards, Robert Mitchum and Lauren Bacall

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