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Bless the Beasts & Children

Stanley Kramer's BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN must have been quite an odd little film when it came out in 1971.

It tells the story of a group of misfit campers that come together to battle their loser label in summer camp by setting off an a quest to save some buffalo.

Those buffalo are kept in a couple acre pen at which hunters line up to shoot them (in captivity!) and then take home their mounted buffalo heads and tell stories of their great hunt.

The cast of boys includes Bill Mumy (Will Robinson for you "Lost in Space" fans) and he is by far the best actor, making some of the other young actors look pretty dismal by comparison.

It's a pretty by-the-numbers, hammer over the head message movie on young people that don't fit in either with their peers or the adults around them (plenty of 1971 hippie references here) but it does feature a pretty powerful ending, some nice work by Mumy, a great period musical score by Perry Botkin Jr and Barry de Vorzon and a beautiful title tune by The Carpenters.

It's dated, slow but never boring and very much a product of its time. Who else remembers this poster being everywhere in stores and dorm rooms and likely being more popular than the movie at the time?!

We'll Bless them with a C.

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