The Ransom of Red Chief
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language: : English
- Product Dimensions : 19.69 x 13.97 x 1.91 cm; 99.79 Grams
- Manufacturer reference : 40644
- Media Format : DVD
- Language : Unqualified
- Studio : Allumination
- ASIN : B0002F6AVQ
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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In this uproarious action-comedy, two bumbling neer-do-wells, Sam (Christopher Lloyd) and Bill (Michael Jeter) kidnap Andy Dorset (Academy Award nominee, Haley Joel Osment), the mischievous nine year old son of Ambrose Dorset, a pompous banker and civic leader. Andy is convinced by the duo that he involved in a madcap adventure and pretends to be Red Chief, a fierce Indian warrior. Andy is known for his wild imagination, so when his father receives a ransom note for only $47.50, he thinks its a prank. But when two dangerous convicts have escape from prison, Andy may finally be in real danger...
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A good laugh for the younger members of the family.
Sadly the 1998 made-for-TV version, loosely based on the beloved O Henry story, is not very good - not because of its numerous departures from the original source material (I'm kind of a guy who enjoyed "Oliver!" and its dancing Fagin), but because of the film's too slow pace and unfocused direction, especially in the first half. There are many silly and incredibly corny jokes, which are mostly sight gags or slapstick including the boy's pompous father stepping on a roller skate (not a banana peel).
For me the problem is that director Bob Clark often forgets his job as a storyteller, desperately trying to make us laugh with silly jokes. Actors are all doing their best - Christopher Lloyd and Michael Jeter are very good as a pair of small-time crooks, and so is Haley Joel Osment as the little boy. Only that they deserve better material than making faces.
Those who remember Bob Clark as director of such films as the 1982 hit teen comedy "Porky's," or more recently, inept and crude "Baby Geniuses" (in which Christopher Lloyd appears) and "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2" will be surprised to know that "The Ransom of Red Chief" is a Hallmark production. To his credit, Bob Clark has also directed a holiday classic "A Christmas Story" based on Jean Shepherd's works, so Hallmark's decision is not without good reason.
"The Ransom of Red Chief" tries hard to be funny and touching at the same time. Maybe too hard. It becomes neither, lacking the characters you relate to, or the original author's wit and surprise.