27. Sammy Goes South (B-)
Sammy Goes South
: I'm sure that if I saw this film in it's original, unedited form, I would have liked it a lot more. Child actor Fergus McClelland gives a terrific performance for a twelve year old, and the supporting cast is also good, especially an aging Edward G. Robinson. But the film is almost destroyed in the editing, which omits so much of the film that the original score had to be trashed and replaced with a new one (and the new score is less than outstanding). Transitions are awkward, and sequences of Sammy traversing the African continent that should be long and full of grandeur are cut so short that they leave the impression that his journey is little more than a few miles (the bad replacement score doesn't help, and makes me shudder to think of a film like Lawrence of Arabia
without Maurice Jarre).
Still, even in its highly-edited form, a certain amount of charm comes through that even the American distributors couldn't eliminate. It helps that the entire film is filmed from the child's eye level--this is only violated a few times, and it really places us in the young Sammy's shoes.