On the surface (pun intended), the biopic "Savannah" about a southern gentleman attorney turned rogue duck hunter is an above-average Hallmark Channel style film. Scratching the surface of this movie that depicts river life in Savannah, Georgia reveals considerably more depth.
Folks who relish a copy of the recently released DVD/vudu digital version of this film from ketchup entertainment can only acquire it from their cyber or neighborhood Wal-Mart.
The interesting stories, the awesome scenery, and the talented cast all contribute to a quality film that is consistent with Wal-Mart's stated emphasis on traditional family values.
The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, that ketchup uploaded conveys much of what makes "Savannah" an entertaining wholesome production.
Jim Caviezel of numerous great shows and films that include "The Passion of the Christ," "Person of Interest," and the AMC remake of "The Prisoner" stars as Allen. Bradley Whitford of "The West Wing" "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and currently "Trophy Wife" plays Allen biographer Jack Cay. There are many other notable names, but the late Hal Halbrook steals the show as a judge who runs a not-so-tight courtroom and is more interested in justice than the law.
The equal centers of "Savannah" are Allen, who rejects his family's wealth and social standing in the early 20th century to spend his time hunting water fowl with his BFF Christmas Moultrie, and Cay. Cay grows up hearing of the exploits of Allen from Moultrie and writes those memoirs in the '50s.
The friendship between Allen and Moultrie alone makes a good film; Moultrie is born into slavery during the Civil War and obtains his freedom when that conflict ended. Allen's family owns a plantation during that period.
Allen's uncle hires Moultrie as a river guide when Moultrie is roughly 10 years old; Moultrie subsequently forms his informal partnership with Allen.
Allen not only openly defies what he considers the unreasonable hunting laws that interfere with his business and personal freedom but lobbies for changes to that legislation. His natural charm and his eloquent writing and oratory skills that likely related to his legal training help him make his case.
Cay's story revolves around events in 1954 in which he tries to help a now-elderly Moultrie accept that the land on which the rustic cabin that had been his life-long home had been sold. Moultrie is understandably resistant to moving, and Cay understands the need for gentleness.
"Whatever happened to" descriptions that appear during the closing credits of "Savannah" provide more insight into the three main characters.
For his part, Cay's relationship with Moultrie is reminiscent of the now-banned 1946 Disney Film "Song of the South." Just as Johnny learns entertaining life lessons from visiting former slave Uncle Remus in Remus' cabin, young Cay learns all about the respect for nature and other values related to Allen's exploits from Moultrie. The similarities end there in that Moultrie does not share Remus' generally subservient "Uncle Tom" nature.
The element of Allen's romance with the wealthy and class conscious Lucy Subbs, played by Jamie Alexander of "Kyle XY," show the true power of love. She sticks by her man through his heavy drinking, outrageous antics, and even bursts of anger directed at her. This evokes thoughts of the mutual tolerance that can characterize our own romantic relationships.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Savannah" or "South" is welcome to email me. I am also on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.