Giant of Thunder Mountain, The
PG
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: +3

Like a splash of cool water on a hot humid day, THE GIANT OF THUNDER MOUNTAIN offers refreshing entertainment for children. Three youngsters, 8-year-old Amy (Noley Thornton) and her two slightly older brothers, Ben and Tommy (Ryan Todd and Chance Corbitt), come down with a slight case of gold rush fever in this adventure tale of the 1890's. They live with their widowed mother (Marianne Rogers) at the base of the Sierra Madre mountains. On a dare, Ben and Tommy climb Thunder Mountain to spy on the reclusive giant Eli (Richard Kiel), but are frightened away when he catches them snooping around his cabin. Fascinated by Eli and the townspeople's gossip that he killed his parents, the brothers return for another spying session. This time, however, Amy follows them, but instead of hiding in the bushes, she walks right up to him. The shy but gentle Eli is enchanted by Amy and they become close friends. The children are exposed to the "fever" when they accidentally find some gold nuggets in Eli's house and can't resist taking them. But they discover a fool and his gold are soon parted when the villainous carnival owner (John Elam) gets wind of their treasure. Suspense builds when false assumptions are made that Eli has abducted the children Teenagers and older may find THE GIANT's too sweet story a bit corny. It will probably do better on video.

Produced by John Herklotz, who is dedicated to bringing quality family films to the screen, THE GIANT is rated PG because of a few intense scenes. Eli suffers some injuries as he fights the grizzly bear to save Amy's life. He is shot by the villains and the misdirected townspeople who also set his house on fire. The evil carnival owner with a sinister glass eye might scare very young children, but it's all part of the fun. Far more prevalent are positive messages about truth, trust and the destructive consequences of unfounded biases. Eli presents a role model who is brave, caring and very forgiving. But he's not perfect. When his efforts to be part of the community are rejected, the depressed giant consoles himself with a bottle of gin. One of the boys finds the gin bottle and takes a big gulp, then spews it out. More disturbing is the casual treatment of the children stealing the giant's gold. Although they do not benefit from it, the fact that they had stolen it is never mentioned. If THE GIANT OF THUNDER MOUNTAIN comes to your town, you can feel comfortable taking the kids. Let the producer know if you appreciate his efforts to produce wholesome entertainment.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: American Happenings, P.O. Box 3636, Laguna Hills, CA 92654

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Few times - Moderate and mild (grizzly bear attacks man; gunshot wounds; pushing, shoving; boy hit over head and put in gunny sack; man caught in bear trap)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Women in saloon in tight dresses, flirting with men
Drug Abuse: Man hung over from drinking gin; boy takes gulp of gin; drinking in saloon scene
Other: Children steal; cruel assumptions about innocent man; theme of forgiveness, trust and friendship
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Children under 12

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