Fortunate Son

Despite its winning buoyancy, 29th Street suffers slightly from its obvious indebtedness to other films. Watching Frank Jr. lament his lottery victory in the opening sequence and then spend hours recollecting the strands of his own life, it's difficult to shake the ghost of Frank Capra. Shifting fortunes, a happy ending, and a story that comes to a head on Christmas Eve no less; why not just opt for Miracle on 29th Street and send the copyright lawyers scrambling for their Filofaxes? Despite its derivative drawbacks, Gallo's film gleams throughout, and proves that dusting off old ideas can succeed when the polish and the polisher are of uncommon skill.

Written and directed by George Gallo; with Danny Aiello, Anthony LaPaglia, Lainie Kazan, Frank Pesce, Robert Forster, Ron Karabatsos, Vic Noto, Alexander Fehr Blue, and Joe Franklin.


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