The Wool Cap

  • 2004
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Drama

This TV remake of the 1962 Jackie Gleason vehicle gets its emotional punch from William H. Macy’s powerful, Emmy-nominated performance as a boozy loner redeemed by his paternal instinct. Since serving in Vietnam, substance-abusing Charles Gigot (Macy) has been unable to connect with his estranged family. Guilt-stricken over a two-decade old car accident...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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This TV remake of the 1962 Jackie Gleason vehicle gets its emotional punch from William H. Macy’s powerful, Emmy-nominated performance as a boozy loner redeemed by his paternal instinct. Since serving in Vietnam, substance-abusing Charles Gigot (Macy) has been unable to connect with his estranged family. Guilt-stricken over a two-decade old car accident that left him mute, Gigot lives a lonely life as a custodian for a Chicago tenement and has few friends aside from his pet monkey. Naturally Gigot balks when a strung-out mom begs him to baby-sit her daughter Lou (Keke Palmer). Gigot's worst fears are realized when she doesn't return to claim her child. To free himself of instant fatherhood, Gigot accompanies Lou on a search to find her mama that takes them to Philadelphia, where his wallet is stolen. To raise their fare home, Gigot plays music while Lou and his monkey become street performers. Overcoming this obstacle marks a turning point in Gigot’s feelings for Lou. Later, when her mom overdoses, Gigot tries to shield Lou from her death. While his handicap and lack of social skills don’t make him an ideal candidate for a father, Gigot pursues custody of Lou. Following the letter of the law, Children’s Services places Lou in foster care. Meanwhile Gigot embarks on a crusade to reclaim his humanity by rebuilding the bridges he burned long ago.

Although influential film critics (e.g., Pauline Kael) were unkind to the 1962 original, many moviegoers have fond memories of Gleason's star turn as the Great One paid homage to the silent pantomime he popularized on his TV variety show. While this sentimental remake may be more realistic, it is markedly less touching.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: This TV remake of the 1962 Jackie Gleason vehicle gets its emotional punch from William H. Macy’s powerful, Emmy-nominated performance as a boozy loner redeemed by his paternal instinct. Since serving in Vietnam, substance-abusing Charles Gigot (Macy) has… (more)

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