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Max Dugan Returns

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PG
1983

Max Dugan Returns is an entertaining comedy-drama film from the year 1983. Directed by the imaginative Herbert Ross, the film stars some of the most esteemed talents in Hollywood, including Jason Robards, Marsha Mason, and Donald Sutherland. With music by David Shire, the film exudes a warm, nostalgic charm that's emblematic of the era in which it was produced.

The film orbits about Nora McPhee, an enchanting character portrayed by Academy Award nominee Marsha Mason. Nora is a single mother and school teacher who is trying to make ends meet in Los Angeles, while also nurturing and guiding her brilliant, baseball-obsessed son Michael, played by Matthew Broderick in his breakout film role. This precarious balancing act becomes even more complicated when Nora unexpectedly receives a midnight visitor.

Enter Max Dugan, Nora's long-absent and presumed dead father who makes a sudden come back into her life. Jason Robards, an Academy Award winner, delivers a sterling performance as the spirited Max Dugan. He returns with multinational tales of adventure, but also with an intriguing offensive of stolen money, which he insists on spending on his estranged daughter and grandson before his impending demise.

Meanwhile, in an engaging sub-plot, Detective Brian Costello, played expertly by Donald Sutherland, investigates some local burglaries and gets romantically involved with Nora. Sutherland's character becomes suspicious and concerned about Nora's sudden change in financial situation, and his detective instincts make him even more intrigued. Nora must navigate this romantic, but potentially perilous relationship whilst dealing with the moral dilemma presented by her newly returned father.

Max Dugan Returns is infused with a wry potent wit that makes it an unconventionally humorous film. It raises questions about responsibility, the significance of family ties, and the fine line between right and wrong. The screenplay, written by Neil Simon, weaves an intricate tale which is not merely another run-of-the-mill comedy-drama but an insightful and sophisticated exploration of human relationships and societal norms.

Moreover, the film cleverly incorporates results from actual major league baseball games into the narrative. In fact, baseball is a significant theme in this film, symbolizing hope and ambition. The curiosity of the young Michael, who aspires to be a baseball pitcher, is fulfilled by Max in a way that only a grandfather can, making up for lost time with special gifts and advice.

In addition to the skilled writing and directing, the performances across the board are uniformly strong. Mason perfectly captures Nora's initial shock, subsequent disbelief, and growing emotional intrigue in response to her father’s unexpected reappearance, encompassing multiple emotions in a deeply touching performance.

Robards, as the enigmatic, yet tender Max Dugan, is equally compelling. He portrays an outwardly flamboyant character with an inner layer of vulnerability and regulatory melancholy stemming from years of being absent from his daughter's life.

Matthew Broderick in his film debut as Nora’s smart and appealing son demonstrates the instinctive talent that soon made him an emblematic figure in ‘80s cinema. Donald Sutherland, a consummate professional, does a fine job portraying the elusive character of Detective Costello, bringing a different angle to the story.

Max Dugan Returns is graced with an exceptional ensemble cast that collaboratively executes a fantastic on-screen comedy-drama. The film seamlessly transitions from scenes of high comedy to poignant moments, underlying the complexities of relationships within a family, as well as the moral complexities posed by unresolved past issues.

In conclusion, Max Dugan Returns is more than just a film, it is a saga of family, love, loss, and reflection. It sets out to entertain and ends up offering thought-provoking insights, making it truly a classic gem from the vault of 1980s cinema. Its cinematic brilliance and timeless relevance make it a must-watch. The film charms you, makes you laugh, and leaves you pondering long after its delightful end credits have rolled.

Max Dugan Returns is a Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family movie released in 1983. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7..

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Where can I stream Max Dugan Returns movie online? Max Dugan Returns is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Max Dugan Returns for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.7/10
Director
Herbert Ross
Stars
Jason Robards, Jr., Marsha Mason, Matthew Broderick, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland
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