Long Day Closes, The
THE LONG DAY CLOSES is an unusually quiet, pensive portrayal of a young boy's memories of a brief period during his life. It's set in Liverpool, England, during the mid l950's. Eleven year old Bud (Leigh McCormack) lives with his widowed mother (Marjorie Yates) and his two brothers and sister in a dreary middle class apartment on Kensington St. Many of his experiences are dream like and melancholy, but there are some happy ones as well. He attends a strict Catholic school where the instructors are stern and sometimes cruel. Still, he has a deep religious sensitivity and prays earnestly in a Catholic chapel. His rather subdued mother sings popular American songs of the 50's to raise her spirits, and many of the events in his life are accompanied by those songs. The music comprises the most appealing aspect of the film and includes such favorites as "Stardust," "Once in Love with Amy," "My Foolish Heart," "Tammy's in Love," and "Slow Boat to China." Also enjoyable are celebrations of Christmas and New Year's, along with some lively, humorous parties with friends and relatives. A few brief romantic scenes involving his brothers and sister with their sweethearts are pleasing and discreet. One rather extended scene reflects the mood of the film when Bud and a friend observe dark clouds passing over the moon as soft music plays in the background. Unfortunately, this quality film may move too slowly for many viewers, and the pronounced British accents are difficult to understand. Sponsored by the British Film Institute, it is artfully done and sometimes seems more like a series of fine portraits than a motion picture.
On one occasion, Bud's mother casually uses a profanity in a monologue and a friend nonchalantly uses two moderate crudities. In two disturbing incidents, an instructor and the headmaster at the school strike the hands of the boys as a form of discipline. The film has no sexual content or nudity. The one profanity spoken by Bud's mother is the only questionable element in this classic, sedate film.
Sony Classic Pictures, 711 5th Ave., NY, NY 10022
Twice - Moderate
Once - Regular (JC)
Twice - Moderate (school officials strike boys'hands)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Few Times-Beer drinking (boy tastes beer)
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