Bobby Garfield (Morse), a middle-aged married man, returns to Smallsville, USA, for the funeral of a childhood friend. Wandering around his now dilapidated home, he recalls the events surrounding his 11th birthday, when his single mom (Davis) gave him an adult library ticket instead of the bicycle he yearned for. Things appear to take an upturn when Ted Brautigan (Hopkins), a psychic drifter, arrives as the Garfields' lodger. An enigmatic figure, he takes an avuncular interest in Bobby; he engages the boy to read aloud to him, and asks to be alerted to the arrival of the 'low men' who are pursuing him. Based on two Stephen King stories and set in the '50s, this turgid (but good-looking) 'loss of innocence' movie (first kiss, first fight) lopes towards a sinister denouement. But it lacks emotional depth - the characters are too thinly drawn - and frankly, as for tension, vague references to the CIA and anti-communist activity don't cut it.