Good Neighbour Sam

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For years I’ve been saying that Good Neighbor Sam is my all-time favourite movie. I think this kind of assessment is usually silly and diminishes my love for cinema and I my personal history with it. But you know what? Good Neighbor Sam is my favourite movie. It has everything! It kickstarts with an amazing quirky theme song by Frank DeVol — one of the most underrated and undocumented film composers – along the lines of tiki/exotica dance music late 50’s jazz, one of my big passions in music. Then a great set of actors and a brilliant script set the atmosphere of this long flick – it’s over two-hour long! A gorgeous looking Romy Schneider also wasn’t too bad for a pre-teenage kid. Lovely middle class couple have a nice life but the husband is a bit frustrated for being too creative and not appreciated at work. Then the wife’s childhood friend appears out of the blue asking to borrow the husband to receive an inheritance. The plot is simple but it’s flipped lots of times. It’s brilliant from start to end. I watched it for the first time when I was 13, maybe. At that age my gigantic love for music was already there, and I used to draw a lot by then, but this film made me consider advertising as the path to choose in my career — and eventually I went to college to study it.

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I could write pages and pages about the myriad of layers this movie has, like the imagery of Sam and Howard — as the man we are versus the man we want to be — or its portrait of classism and status in the early 60’s (and how it didn’t change much). But I’m just going to say this – pure 130 minutes of guaranteed fun for everybody with a brain and a couple of eyes and ears.

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