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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Nicholas Stix
Bio: Nicholas Stix
Date:  May 8, 2021
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Beyond Tears: The Film Adaptation of Carson McCullers’ Classic Novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968), Starring Alan Arkin and Sondra Locke: A Review

Lula Carson Smith McCullers, known as Carson McCullers (1917-1967), had an awful life. At 15 years of age, she was afflicted with rheumatic fever, which ruined her heart and some other organs, leaving her condemned to die at an early age (Bobby Darin died even younger, after a childhood bout with rheumatic fever).

McCullers didn’t waste what time she had. This was her first novel, about an awkward, young, working-class girl, “Mick” (Sondra Locke) in a Southern town, and the deaf-mute, Mr. Singer (Alan Arkin), who comes into her life.

Singer initially lives in a different city, where he works for a jeweler, doing engravings on items. But his best friend, a Greek, fellow deaf-mute (Chuck McCann), has gone crazy one time too many, and his cousin/employer has him committed to a mental hospital in another city. A lawyer-friend suggests to Singer that he move to the city where the mental hospital is, so he can visit his friend more often. There are other jewelers there, and he might be able to find work.

John Singer is the kind of person who takes in stray dogs—the crazy friend; a drunken, homeless veteran (Stacy Keach Jr.); an angry, middle-aged, black doctor (Percy Rodriguez); the girl. He, too, is a stray dog, but unfortunately, nobody takes him in.

The title is not as metaphysical as it sounds; all of the main characters and some of the subsidiary ones are sick, or otherwise in terrible pain.

I had to stop watching halfway through, because I could foresee some of the disasters, like a train wreck you see about to happen, but can’t stop. I proved to be wrong about the specifics, but the train wrecks happened, all the same.

Alan Arkin and Sondra Locke were both up for Oscars, he for Best Actor, and she for Best Supporting Actress. Neither won.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is one of the two saddest pictures I’ve ever seen, the other being Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (1955). They’re both so sad that I couldn’t even cry. In each picture, you see a character endure heartbreak upon heartbreak.  

Watch the Brilliant Film Adaptation of Carson McCullers’ Classic Novel for Free, and Without Commercial Interruptions!

Part I;

Part II;

Part III;

Part IV; and

“Dave Grusin’s Soundtrack to The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968).”

Nicholas Stix
Nicholas Stix, Uncensored

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Biography - Nicholas Stix

Award-winning, New York-based freelancer Nicholas Stix founded A Different Drummer magazine (1989-93). Stix has written for Die Suedwest Presse, New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Middle American News, Toogood Reports, Insight, Chronicles, the American Enterprise, Campus Reports, VDARE, the Weekly Standard, Front Page Magazine, Ideas on Liberty, National Review Online and the Illinois Leader. His column also appears at Men's News Daily, MichNews, Intellectual Conservative, Enter Stage Right and OpinioNet. Stix has studied at colleges and universities on two continents, and earned a couple of sheepskins, but he asks that the reader not hold that against him. His day jobs have included washing pots, building Daimler-Benzes on the assembly-line, tackling shoplifters and teaching college, but his favorite job was changing his son's diapers.


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