Check out this week’s Movies You Have Not Seen But Should!
Welcome everyone to the 30th installment of Movies You Have Not Have Seen But You Should. Thanks for helping to celebrate another milestone for this series. For this week’s installment we will look at the 2001 drama The Majestic. The film stars include Jim Carrey, Hal Holbrook, Laurie Holden, and Martin Landau.
The film is set in 1951. Peter Appleton (played by Carrey) was an up and coming film screenwriter. Things were looking bright for him. However, things would take a turn. First, his latest screenplay is under heavy scrutiny from Hollywood executives. Then rumors started to grow about Peter being a Communist because of an antiwar meeting that he attended while in college. However, the only reason why he went to that meeting was because of a girl. This does not matter as the rumors led to the film he was working on getting pushed back, losing credit for that film, and losing his movie star girlfriend and ultimately losing his job.
He ends up getting drunk and an in a car crash through a bridge and into a river. He washes ashore alive but with amnesia. He is found by a local by the name of Stan Keller (played by James Whitmore, best known for roles in such films as The Shawshank Redemption and Tora! Tora! Tora!) who takes him into the small town of Lawson to get treated by the local doctor Doc Stanton (played by David Ogden Stiles, best known for his work on the TV show M.A.S.H.). Some of the townspeople mistake him for a local soldier named Luke Trimble who was thought to have died in World War II. Since he doesn’t know any better, Peter accepts this as reality and settles into this reality with a girlfriend Adele Stanton (played by Holden, best known for her work on The X-Files, The Shield and The Walking Dead) and a father Harry (played by Landau) working to renovate and reopen the local movie theater “The Majestic” which had fallen on hard times.
However, his past is out there to catch up with him. First, there is Congressional committee member Elvin Clyde (played by Bob Balabin, best known for his roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind) who wants to track down Peter and bring him to Washington because he’s convinced that Peter is a Communist. Then, Peter regains his memory and has a hard time trying to keep up living as “Luke” to the people, some of whom don’t believe that he is Luke. Before he could tell the townspeople the truth, federal agents come to Lawson and bring a summons to Peter. He is to testify before Congress in a session presided by Congressman Doyle (played by Holbrook) and that Clyde is a part of the committee. What will happen with Peter and the people of Lawson? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
The film premiered on December 11, 2001 and received large theatrical release a few weeks later on December 21, 2001.
The Majestic is available on DVD and Amazon Instant Streaming. The DVD is out of print so your best bet is to find it on Amazon. It is a throwback to a classic era of storytelling. If you’re a fan of those old school Frank Capra films or just a good heartwarming film, this is one to check out. It’s one that you may not have seen, but you should.