Monday, June 08, 2009

6/3/09: The Forgotten Man (1971)

Writer Bernard Fein was one of of the creators and writers of Hogan's Heroes (1965-1971), about a group of POWs in World War II. His final TV project was the TV movie The Forgotten Man, about a Vietnam POW played by Dennis Weaver, but the tone is decidedly more dramatic.

Escaping from a POW camp five years after he was presumed killed in the war, he returns to the States—only to find that his wife has remarried, his business sold and the life he once knew a distant memory. Worse yet, he is exhibiting symptoms of what is now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD). He keeps flashing back to his savage captors and his interrogations, and as Weaver's mind begins to unravel, it leads to some unnerving and scary behavior.

The Forgotten Man is extremely typical of the low-budget television movies from the 1970s; familiar TV actors, familiar orchestral score, obvious spots for commercial breaks, etc. For me, that's not a criticism—it adds to the nostalgic flavor. The film kept me absorbed, and surprisingly I couldn't have predicted the direction the story would take. Weaver and co-star Lois Nettleton are very good; even better is young Pamelyn Ferdin (who appeared in countless movies and TV shows during the '60s and '70s), playing Weaver's beloved daughter. Rating: 3/5.

1 comment:

Larry Bird said...

The movies was great