James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Even by the mid-70s, this feel-good movie could be criticized as old-fashioned in its straightforward and optimistic reworking of Conroy's autobiographically inspired novel. Voight plays the young liberal teacher who heads for the rural South and ends up in a one-room school, where his pupils are either illiterate or retarded. Ritt, whose decency and commitment shines though in a dozen films (race was his particular concern) elicits our sympathy subtly but surely, awakening not just emotion but understanding of what the inexperienced teacher must have felt like.
The whole cast are inspired and the production values outstanding.
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