Monger's engaging comedy is set against the unlikely backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis. The political turmoil provides the springboard for an exploration of superstition and religion, which are treated with equal doses of scepticism and wonderment. When Kay (Garr) inherits a diner in the Pacific Northwest, she and her two young children uproot from Chicago in order to transform the ramshackle eatery. An attempt by their amateur magician Aunt Zena (MacLaine) to scare reclusive neighbour Mullins (Schiavelli) backfires - he mistakes her ghostly apparition for an angel - and the community starts buzzing with the news that Mullins' orchard is a hot-spot for divine visitations. This somewhat incredible plot is embellished with curious details and carried along by the sheer professionalism of Garr and MacLaine, who make entirely convincing relatives. If the characters are fairly two-dimensional, Monger compensates with odd observation and dry humour.
Cast and crew
John Bedford Lloyd