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      The Family Band

      G 1968 1h 57m Kids & Family Musical List
      Reviews 61% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings A Democrat (Walter Brennan) and his Republican clan enliven the 1888 presidential race between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      The Family Band

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      Critics Reviews

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      Renata Adler New York Times There are also several uneasy, convictionless patriotic numbers-with talk of unity after fights that divide a nation-which suggest, that worry about national ideals is shaking even the values of musicals. Jan 9, 2018 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      r 9 Close to being a good watch, but ends up being more boring than entertaining for me. 'The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band' has positives and negatives. I mostly enjoyed Walter Brennan and Buddy Ebsen in their roles, while Lesley Ann Warren is likeable too. A young Kurt Russell and future wife Goldie Hawn are in there, also. Some of the songs, meanwhile, are catchy. However, my main negatives are the plot and the pacing. The story isn't that interesting and is more political than I was expecting; that's not a bad thing in itself, but it just turns into a shouting match towards the end - realistic I guess, given politics, but as a film it's not enjoyable to see unfold. They could've shaved 20mins off the run time, as well. As noted, I did almost like this. It's the ending which kinda cemented it into the rating I've given. It isn't a bad film overall, mind. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member ***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.*** Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member Never Mix Music and Politics I know I saw this movie at least once when I was a child; I remember the end. However, that was all I remember, and I kind of wish I'd remembered more of it before the election, because it raises a few valuable points. First, there is the family rule that no one shall discuss politics in the house, because one character is a staunch Democrat, and the other male in the house is a Republican. There is the fact that, no matter what position the two candidates have espoused, their supports say it's statesmanlike, and their detractors say it's politics as usual. Third, there is the notable fact that the Democrat was also a Southerner who fought for the Confederacy. He is now a passionate Union man, saying it's the thing he learned during the war, but it's yet another example of how the positions of the parties have changed since their creations over a hundred and fifty years ago. The Democrats were then the party of Southerners. The Southerner is Grandpa Bower (Walter Brennan), who never gets a first name. He's got his whole family (I'm not sure whether it's his son's or his daughter's) to form a band, and he's written a campaign song for Grover Cleveland, who is running for a second term at the Presidency. Turns out Calvin (Buddy Ebsen) is a Republican, but he doesn't think it matters to music. And indeed, instead of performing their campaign song at the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis, the family is talked into moving to "southern Dakota" by Joe Carder (John Davidson), which is not yet a state. This is in no small part because he's wooing eldest daughter Alice (Leslie Ann Warren). The family also gets caught up in the statehood debate--will the Dakotas be one state or two or remain a territory?--until the point that Katie (Janet Blair) has to insist once again on her house rule about not discussing politics, because she knows how ridiculously difficult it is to run a peaceful house if they argue politics all the time. Whenever I go to identify Leslie Ann Warren for Graham, I always tell him that she was Miss Scarlet in [i]Clue[/i]. (I doubt he's ever seen the Rogers and Hammerstein [i]Cinderella[/i], and he's unlikely to remember [i]The Happiest Millionaire[/i].) And, you know, it's quite a distinctive role. On the other hand, I always seem to have to tell him this when I'm watching a movie where she's playing the ingenue. I don't know for sure when the changeover came, but I would imagine she must have been a bit relieved. I mean, she was twenty-two when she made this and was still playing an innocent teenager, barely old enough to teach school at a time where a kid asks if the person taking over the class for a bit has "completed the eighth grade." So, no matter how quickly the change, I feel it must have been a relief, though I'm not sure she's really enjoyed playing the vamp for all the years since then. Honestly, large chunks of the story don't make a lot of sense. I'm not sure where the family starts the movie other than "far enough away so that St. Louis is a train ride." However, they are wherever-it-is not long before the national convention, so some time in midsummer, presumably. Then, they sell everything and get to the Dakotas and are all settled in before election night. Actually, several things that happen must have taken at least a month to play out. The chronology doesn't work for me, and I couldn't quite get over that. Though I suppose it's not implausible that kids might think Walter Brennan could have been a drummer boy in the Civil War, only about a quarter-century before the film is set, because kids don't always have the most clear idea of what age looks like--and it's supposed to be the day after they arrived in the territory, so most of them wouldn't have known him. And why would school start the day after the teacher arrived in the territory anyway? Maybe the following Monday would be sufficient? This is also an early appearance of young Kurt Russell as Sidney, the eldest boy. He gets almost no lines, mostly just prances about during the musical numbers with the grin of a simpleton. There's a reference at one point that confirms that character and actor are both seventeen, and that they'd thought he might consider getting his own homestead. In fact, about the only interesting thing about his appearance in the movie so far as I can tell is that it is where he met Goldie Hawn. She was actually twenty-three at the time, and they wouldn't get involved for fifteen years. However, they did seem to become friends right away, at least. This wasn't much of a role for her, either, and she doesn't even get a real name. She is "Giggly Girl," the girl Joe Carder uses to make Alice jealous at the big election to-do after she started using Ernie Stubbins (Steve Harmon) to make [i]him[/i] jealous. We know that Joe and Alice will end the movie together, but at least we have the reassurance of knowing that Sidney will get Giggly Girl. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member For a title so entertaining, this is one dull musical flick... The plot is overwrought & laden with ideology (not a good quality when you're dealing with a musical, let's face it), the acting is plain bad (oh, Lesley Ann Warren, why you are a treasured actress has always been beyond me, saying Lesley Ann Warren & Meryl Streep are both actresses is like saying Cara Pils & Kir Royal are both beverages), and most of the songs aren't all that much fun. The only distinction the film offers otherwise is that it offers the movie dà (C)but of Goldie Hawn in a cameo as 'giggling girl', more or less the character she created on the sketch show "Laugh-in" Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/27/23 Full Review Audience Member John Davidson and Lesley Ann Warren are paired up again in another outstanding Disney musical with fun songs by the Sherman Brothers. (First viewing - In my mid-twenties) Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/19/23 Full Review Audience Member A story that mixes music with politics. Set during the 1888 presidential election between Cleveland/Harrison. Harrison won the electoral college while Cleveland had the most popular votes (similar to Bush/Gore election of 2000). The plot revolved around a family band where the father and his father-in-law (the grandfather) disagreed on the presidential candidates. The family moved to the Dakota Territory and another part of the plot revolved around the territory obtaining statehood (now both North Dakota and South Dakota). One of the musicals staring John Davidson and Lesley Ann Warren. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Family Band

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A Democrat (Walter Brennan) and his Republican clan enliven the 1888 presidential race between Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison.
      Michael O'Herlihy
      Bill Anderson
      Kids & Family, Musical
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 1, 2014
      1h 57m
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