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13 October 2011 @ 04:16 am
Psi Has A 'Price' -- The Rockinghorse Winner (Film)  
The full movie can be found here.

The movie begins with making the Christian themes much more explicit -- the story begins when Bassett comes to work for the family on Christmas Eve. Neighborhood children are singing Silent Night at the family's door, and Paul's two younger sisters are saying prayers before bed (but not Paul). The parents talk about money, and the Nanny comes home and really puts the children to bed. She asks them if they have all said their prayers, and the girls say yes, and so does Paul -- the nanny asks if this is really true, and he admits no, and then goes to his room to say them.

Paul sneaks out of bed in the middle of the night to look at the presents under the tree, and there is the rockinghorse, a gift to all three children from "Father + Mother." There is sinister music playing in the background. (Which is odd, since one would expect a kid looking at Christmas presents to be a happy thing.) In the story, the horse already belonged to Paul, and it was already apparently quite old.

In the movie, it is also revealed that the father is a gambler and has lost a lot of money playing cards (which makes the mother very angry), whereas in the story, it is only Uncle Oscar who gambles. And in the story, Paul is presented as probably too told for a rockinghorse, whereas here, he's not -- Basset is the one who shows him how to ride the rockinghorse, like he's never had one before. (It is kinda weird, getting a rockinghorse for the first time at about ten, no?)

It also appears that the rockinghorse used in the movie was specially made to have a creepy, sinister face.

Anyway, the film stays very true to the story, flaws and all. It manages to add one new one: a tailor with a Russian accent (who is supposed to be Jewish) who buys clothes from Paul's mother at much less than they are worth, admitting he is screwing her out of the value of it, because she is so eager to sell, and he's greedy like that (clip starts at 44:14). I guess the whole idea is to show how desperate the mother is and how far she's fallen -- she's now being touched by poor children, who run and scream, and she now has to deal with an unscrupulous Jewish tailor!

/rolls eyes/

Several times towards the end I burst out laughing -- when Paul stares at the horse before riding it the last time (psi and scary looks!) and when there is this camera shot of the horse with a sudden dramatic swell of music (seriously, lol). It's almost like the movie had stopped taking itself seriously.

The scriptwriter also added to the mother's anxiety when she's at the ball to make it explicitly psychic, timing her hesitating on the stairs and sudden worry exactly with Paul making creepy eyes at the horse (clip starts at 1:15:42). Yes, yes I laughed at Paul making googly eyes at the horse. PSI PEOPLE STARE A LOT, YOU KNOW? THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW PSI IS GOING ON! (lolz)

The movie also adds to the ending. Oscar says his lines about the poor boy being better off dead, but now it appears he is saying that he's better off dead than living in that household, as an insult to the mother. Which is still a wretched thing to say, not just blaming the mother for all the problems the night her son dies (especially when he had a huge hand in encouraging the boy's gambling himself, bringing him to the race track, etc. etc.), but also, really disrespectful of the boy. How dare anyone say the child is "better off dead"?

The movie also shows the mother crying over the boy's death (though not the father, the uncle, Bassett, or the sisters). The mother orders the rockinghorse carried out and set on fire, so Bassett does this. She then comes down when the horse is on fire to make sure that it's done, and Bassett tries to give her the money, which she orders him to also burn. Thankfully, Bassett has more sense.

"Mrs. Grahame, I'm a poor man. I was brought up among poor people. I can't bring myself to burn good money."
"How could you call it that? Good money? It's blood money, dreadful, evil money. How could anybody ever touch money like that? Go on, Bassett, burn it."
"No, no I'm thinkin' I'll take it to your lawyer, Mr. Webb, Mr. Russell Webb, init. He'll probably know what to do. There must be some use for it. We might be able to save a few lives with it. Cost one to get it. Mrs. Grahame, you came out here to say somethin' to me, isn't that right?"
"I wanted to see the end of it. I just wanted to be sure it had gone, gone for good."
"You won't never see the end of it, ma'am, nor will I. As long as ever we'll live, we'll remember, and we'll know, just what it is was done."
/cue scary dramatic music and closeup of the burning rocking horse, now turning black/

Evil! Evil! Hell!

The End.
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