Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Holland Avenue Boys: A Success Story

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:None, some sad moments
Diversity Issues:Loving inter-racial relationship, friends of different ethnic backgrounds

The “Holland Avenue Boys” are a group of 14 men who grew up on or near Holland Avenue in the Bronx in the late 1940′s and early 1950′s. The “success story” is their enduring friendship and loyalty. With busy working-class parents, some immigrant, they spent most of their time together growing up and raised each other as much as their families did. Indeed, they were a warm and loving family for each other, and they remain that way with annual reunions and with an unbreakable connection of trust and loyalty. The “success story” is the story of that friendship. It gives the “boys” so much pleasure and support that one of the wives says, “My only regret is that I am not one of the Holland Avenue Boys.”

This documentary, made by one of the boys with financial support from some of the others, begins with memories of growing up, endless games of stickball and piling on top of each other. When they got to high school, some of them got jobs, and they always took care of each other. The one who worked at the movie theater let them all in for free and the one who worked at the deli fed them all for almost nothing.

Though they went in many different directions professionally and geographically, they maintained close ties. The 12 surviving boys and family members all speak candidly about their lives. Their trust and affection for the member of the group who made the movie shows as they tell the camera about their successes and failures at home and at work. One confides that he does not like to describe himself as “retired,” so he tells people he is “semi-retired.” Another speaks frankly about grappling with depression when his business got into trouble. Another talks about his divorce, and his pride in maintaining a loving relationship with the mother of his children. One talks about how he feels about not having had children. Another explains that he dreamed of being an engineer until a school guidance counselor told him that he would never get a job because he was Jewish.

One became a distinguished physicist, one a doctor, one a manufacturer. One ran a museum of jazz. One flew missions in Viet Nam and then lived in Morocco helping to set up air defense systems. Through it all, they made many friends and they loved their families, but the connection between the members of the original group remained important to each of them.

Families should watch this movie together and talk about how they define success. Who are the people they feel they could call to ask for anything they needed and get whatever it was without a question? Who feels that way about them? What does it take to sustain a friendship for half a century? It can be especially useful for children to see how important it is to these men to be in touch with people who share their childhood memories. Would you like to be one of the “Holland Avenue boys?” What do you need to do to make sure that the friends you have now stick together that way and for that long?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “The Straight Story.”



Previous Posts

New MacArthur Genius Award Winners Include Alison Bechdel and Joshua Oppenheimer
It is always a treat to see the worthy awardees of the MacArthur Foundation's "genius grants." The foundations awards are unique because you cannot apply for them and there are no restrictions on the use of the money given to the recipients. The awards committee reviews the work of people making ex

posted 9:53:29am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Happy Birthday US Constitution!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzAJyK0ovo8[/youtube] It was on September 17, 1789 that the US Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was not added until later, but let's celebrate that, too. How many can you name? This will help you remember them. [youtube]https://www.youtu

posted 8:00:21am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Days and Nights With Katie Holmes and Allison Janney
Inspired by Chekhov's "The Seagull," this is the story of a weekend at a country house that includes a famous actress, her discontented son, and people who love the wrong people and are angry at each other -- sometimes at the same time. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEs6vXztmBM[/youtub

posted 8:00:41am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in "Serena"
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence re-team in "Serena," which looks very intriguing but does not yet have a US release date. Stay tuned. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-wFHiZHZVaU?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:35am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of Ella the Elephant
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL7Eup7JXScZz_ZAyJKN2XMIdAVp-n3iCW" frameborder="0"] Join Ella the Elephant and her kindhearted friends in this all-new animated series from Disney Junior featuring 8 charming episodes. Elephant Island is home to many

posted 3:37:58pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.