Director Daniel Petrie’s 1988 drama stars Burt Lancaster as widowed family patriarch Levi Rockwell, who is having his 77th birthday. His caring but uncomprehending adult kids and his open, generous-spirited grand-children arrive to celebrate. When the grand-children ask the old man what he would like as a birthday gift, he tells them a Viking funeral.
Lancaster, oozing his trademark acting weight, power and gravitas, is wonderful in one of his last performances, and screen-writers Amos Poe and CaJost Vacano’s good-hearted, entertaining movie is very well acted all round by the strong cast.
Director Petrie handles it all most tastefully and with a determined view to creating the right mood and sentiment. The story is sparked by Lancaster making a special request, but this is a mood and dialogue rather than plot-led film.
It co-stars Suzy Amis, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman, Kevin Spacey, Macaulay Culkin, George Martin, John Glover, Frances Conroy and Sinéad Cusack.
Also in the cast are John Bell, Nicky Bronson, Dan Corkill, Angela Goethals, Sara Goethals, Emily Poe, Sara Rue, Matt Compono, James McDaniel, David Hyde Pierce and Renée Coleman.
aged 80. Field of Dreams (1989) is his last cinema film.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4833
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