Welcome to another installment of “It Came from the Bargain Bin”. This week we are focusing on certain stars that were prevalent at one time but are no longer a thought. If you were born between the sixties to the mid-seventies you know that there are many of these stars out there. Actually, no matter when you were born you know that there are many “flashes in the pan” as they say, but this week’s star was, at one time, huge. This week’s one time star was considered to be a future silver screen legend at one time. At a time when superbly feathered hair was not a blemish upon your masculinity but, quite the contrary, made you more attractive to girls. From David Cassidy to Jim Bray of “Roller Boogie” (look him up), the more effeminate you appeared the more desirable you were to the opposite sex. This week’s feature star had that seventies Dynamite! Magazine cover-boy look and according to many at the time, the acting chops, to be a legitimate star and he was, just not past the early eighties. I am referring to the one and only Robby Benson. Mr. Benson was a star of the once popular made for T.V. movies like “The Death of Richie” in 1977 about a confused teenager that turns to drugs (like most made for T.V. movies back then) to 1984’s “Harry and Son” whom he starred in along with Paul Newman who played his widowed father that constantly struggles to keep together the fractured relationship he has with his with his son Howard (Robby Benson) and his daughter Nina (Katherine Borowitz). Harry and Son is actually a pretty good movie but it is not this week’s selection. I know, enough of Robby Benson’s movie bio already, right. This week’s selection is the 1978 drama that many Gen X’s (1965-1982) and yes, the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) remember whether we like it or not…………
Starring: Robbie Benson, Lynn-Holly Johnson, and Tom Skerritt
Writers: Donald Wrye and Gary L. Baim
Director: Donald Wrye
Reviewed by: Joe Sikes
Nick Peterson (Robby Benson) has just dropped out of college to pursue a career in pro hockey and to support his ultra-talented figure skating girlfriend Alexis (Lynn-Holly Johnson), who just might have what it takes to be a star. When Nick arrives he finds that Alexis is in the middle of a tug o’ war between her widowed father Marcus Winston (Tom Skerritt) who is concerned for her well-being and what early fame can do to her and her coach Beulah Smith (Colleen Dewhurst) who supports Alexis’ dream of becoming a figure skating champion adamantly.
After seeing Alexis perform at a local competition, professional coach Deborah Mackland (Jennifer Warren) makes an offer to coach and take Alexis to the heights of figure skating that Alexis and Beulah have been dreaming about. On the same day that “Lexie” receives the fantastic news about her dream come true she is told by Nick that he has been offered a tryout by The Minnesota North Stars and that he will be away for a heartbreaking period of time. Soon after Lexi convinces her Dad to let her pursue her dream she and Nick as well find out that the road to professional success is a road of loneliness and brutal honesty. Little do Nick and Lexi realize that the true test of their love and perseverance is right around the corner?
Okay, for those of you who have seen Ice Castles you are well aware of the tremendous amount of corniness displayed in this movie. From the painfully corny Ice Castles theme song (Through the Eyes of Love) to the predictable ending, there is no shortage of melodrama here. That being said, the acting is pretty solid and the story survives somehow. Whether it’s the role of the consummate hard ass Beulah Smith played by Colleen Dewhurst or it’s the convincing portrayal of a pain-stricken father played by Tom Skerritt, Ice Castles is a film that rises above the corniness that very well could have trapped it under ice. I give Ice Castles 2 out of 3 Guys. Oh yeah, and Robby Benson wasn’t half bad either. See you next week and hope you had a happy holiday.