Sean Howe
January 18, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Current Status
In Season
Alan Arkin, Sondra Locke, Stacy Keach, Chuck McCann, Cicely Tyson
Robert Ellis Miller

We gave it a C+

If, in 1968, director Robert Ellis Miller sensed that Old Hollywood message movies were ceding ground to tales of moral ambiguity, at least he guaranteed they’d go out with a bang. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is an adaptation of Carson McCullers’ novel — about a benevolent deaf-mute (Arkin) in a small Georgia town — reduces the characters to the obstacles they face: poverty, racism, schmaltzy soundtrack music. Arkin and Locke (as a confused teen) are impressive, but they exist in a vacuum; stripped of McCullers’ forceful prose, all that remains is bland sanctimony. EXTRAS None. C+

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