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Misunderstood Reviews

The title may have been prophetic for this movie, which was allegedly made in 1982 but did not find a release for two years. Based on a novel more than 90 years old as well as the 1967 Italian film INCOMPRESO, the movie is set in a different place and time, but the essentials remain similar. Ned (Gene Hackman) and Lilly (Susan Anspach) had a reasonably happy marriage until she died. She is seen only in flashbacks as the relationship between Ned and his two young sons, Andrew (Henry Thomas) and Miles (Huckleberry Fox), is examined. Ned is a former black marketeer who made millions after the war, then he turned to legit interests and made more millions in shipping. To allay his grief, Ned plunges himself even more deeply into his business in Tunisia and neglects the boys. The actors try vainly to overcome a script that skims the surface of emotions. The family house is so plush and breathtaking that it is more attention-getting than the story; when the background overpowers the foreground, you know the picture has problems. Hackman is, as always, believable, and Thomas and Fox are terrific.