Sam's Son (1984) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sam's Son (1984)

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Movie Info

This largely autobiographical story written and directed by Michael Landon stars Timothy Patrick Murphy as Gene Orowitz (Landon's real name was Eugene Orowitz), a frail teenager with a talent for throwing the javelin and a close relationship to his father Sam (Eli Wallach), the manager of a movie theater. Sam's real love in life is writing fiction, and he pounds the keys of his typewriter well into the night as he tries to finish a major opus. One day when Gene sees Samson and Delilah (1949) at the theater where his father works, he becomes certain that whatever strength he has is due to his long hair and he refuses to cut his hair, even though long hair turns the school principal apoplectic and has to be disguised when Gene is at a sports meet. Gene's life is not a bed of roses, yet when he is dumped by his girlfriend Bonnie for Robert (Alan Hayes), an arrogant football player who has bullied him whenever the chance arose, his good friend Cathy (Hallie Todd) stays by his side. Later, he has his own revenge with Robert by connecting with a right to the jaw, shocking everyone, perhaps even himself. Gene has been working out to get ready for a big school meet and is a bit stronger in his javelin-tossing arm. As the day of the big meet approaches, life changes dramatically for him -- and the movie's climax, though it appears contrived, actually happened to Landon in real life. Landon also plays a small role in the film as a movie star visiting his hometown -- and in some ways, he was "Sam's son" because he himself took to writing -- including the script for this movie, in fact.

Cast

Eli Wallach
as Sam Orowitz
Anne Jackson
as Harriet Orowitz
Hallie Todd
as Cathy Stanton
Alan Hayes
as Robert Woods
Jonna Lee
as Bonnie Barnes
Michael Landon
as Gene Orman
Howard Witt
as Cy Martin
Bill Boyett
as Coach Sutter
John Walcutt
as Ronnie Morgan
David Lloyd Nelson
as Lonnie Morgan
L. Harvey Gold
as Jake Bellow
James Karen
as Mr. Collins
David Adams
as Truck Driver
Martin Rudy
as Dr. Warren
Montana Smoyer
as Maxine Wagner
Gavin H. Mooney
as Police Officer
Phil Proctor
as Art Fisher
Young Buck
as Marv Gates
Herb Mitchell
as Coach Diener
Dave Morick
as Field Judge
Robert Balderson
as Track Official
Kurt Smildsin
as Track Official
Andrew Ethier
as Competitor
Kathleen Coyne
as Cathy Orman
B.J. Turner
as Customer
Mickey Morton
as Customer
Michael Griswold
as Cathy Stanton's Father
Dave Adams
as Truck Driver
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