Summer of the Monkeys
G, 101 min. Directed by Michael Anderson. Starring Wilford Brimley, Michael Ontkean, Leslie Hope, Corey Servier.
Not reviewed at press time. Based on the Newberry Award-winning 1961 book by Wilson Rawls, this family film tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who rescues four chimpanzees that escaped from the local circus and hopes to use the reward money to fulfill his lifelong dream of buying a pony. Just this week, the film won one of the top prizes at the Heartland Film Festival, which is dedicated to works that express positive values. Disney has the film scheduled for a straight-to-video release in December, but in an unusual move the company has decided to try the film out theatrically in five “family-friendly” markets, and Austin has been determined to be one of these five. Director Anderson has been doing a lot of television work in recent years, but some of his past film credits include such gems as Around the World in 80 Days, All the Fine Young Cannibals, Logan's Run, and Orca. Anderson's film is booked for a one-week exclusive run.