In 1971 Bless The Beasts & Children exploited a unique and overwhelming sad focus on how geeks, misfits and nerds were treated. Boys go to Box Canyon SummerCamp to relax, play games and bond. Not for a group of boys that get bullied. Hazing is a wakeup call for these boys. This film is about how badly some of us raise our children. Teaching them the wrong way to treat innocence or uniqueness. I recommend anyone with a youngster about 12 or 13 to view this film with them.
Growing up is finding out that the good guys don’t always win.
I loved this film when I first viewed it because I was coming of age and waking up to the real world too. The motif of this film fits nicely into the 70s groove, hey it was the beginning of the hardcore 70s. The theme of this film shows how a hand full of misfit youngsters find each other, bond and develop solid friendships. The love they project together is upon the wild Buffalo. They find out that these proud and innocent beasts, almost reaching extinction, are being gunned down by sport hunters as if in a penny arcade. They start on a journey as youngsters and transform into young men by standing up for something besides their small personal problems.; against all odds they are going to try and save the Buffalo. Growing up is finding out that the good guys don’t always win.
Bless The Beasts & Children is filled with humor, intense emotions, sadness and love. The soundtrack is peaking a 70s musical score with the hit song Bless The Beasts & Children by The Carpenters. It is an anti-gun film before its time. Yes I had a big crush on Bill Mumy…
“Only freedom can tame the wild, rebellious, palpitating heart of man.”
~Dr. Edward Hewitt
“All my life I have lived and behaved very much like the sandpiper – just running down the edges of different countries and continents, ‘looking for something.’ ”
Elizabeth Taylor is a bit pretentious in this film but with Richard Burton it works out. The themes in this film are many. We have the old boys club and a conservative religion. We have a young babe artist and Beatniks. Shake this all together and you get a natural conflict, especially when the babe artist seduces the conservative boy’s club Episcopalian married priest. The film is based on a short story by Martin Ransohoff.
This embellished film is remarkably interesting. The little shack on the beach where Laura lives is beyond impressive. Here Laura and her young son live peacefully until the law steps in. Then she is ordered to send her child to an Episcopal school and so she meets Dr. Edward Hewitt. This works out very well for her son eventually.
Personalities and old and new love affairs merge in a world wind of defiance but love somehow grabs two impossible people to each other if only for a painfully brief time. Yes, they are transformed and cause a lot of people a lot of pain.
The film is set in Big Sur California and the soundtrack is pretty cool.
Charles Bronson plays Beatnik artist Cos Erickson who is in the process of sculpturing a wooden bust of Laura’s breasts in a few scenes. He also constantly challenges Dr. Edward Hewitt with funny religious questions. He knows that the priest has the hots for his Laura before she does. His jealousy proves him correct.
A fun and romantic film that puts you in the seat of the sixties and early seventies. It has some good things to say about life, love, and sorrow. An adult love story that will make you laugh at times over desperate lovers and cool Beatniks. A silly film at times too.