Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: The Sun Also Rises on Master Actors In SILVER SKIES

SILVER SKIES is one doozy of a delightful and heartwarming film with a cast (no exaggeration!) to live for.

Written, produced and directed by Rosemary Rodriguez and screening at this year's Sedona International Film Festival, the flick focuses on the senior residents of a place, "somewhere in Sherman Oaks, California," called Silver Skies and the displacement they face when conversion of their home to condos is announced.

This is not an unfamiliar story in current American life, but it's telling in Rodriguez's version is dramatically punctuated thanks to the bravura performances of a stellar group of veteran actors.

George Hamilton tops the list with a compelling and sensitive performance as Phil, a dashing Dean Martin-wannabe, who is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer's. His is A+ work as he evokes laughter over his pecadilloes and pulls at the heartstrings over his vulnerability to the inevitable.

Jack McGee stars as the rough-around-the edges but lovable Nick, Phil's former partner, friend, and now loyal caretaker. Loyal out of devotion to his pal but also out of guilt for losing their money in a long ago swindle.

Valerie Perrine is stunning as Ethel, the resident femme fatale who tends to the garden because it's "important to keep Silver Skies looking pretty." Truth is she was an extra in the movies, "a wannabe that never was." Perrine delivers a wholehearted portrayal of a woman with an unsatisfying past and an uncertain future, desperate to find a place to nest. Fate give hers the amorous attention of a fellow resident, Frank, once the head guard at Paramount ("Jack Nicholson knew my name!"), charmingly played by Alex Rocco.

Barbara Bain (elegant as ever) and Jack Betts are Eve and Mickey who will not abide their unfair dispossession. Organizing against the landlord has its consequences. Eve's determination to resist the move is met with ugly repercussions at the hands of the degenerate resident manager (Micah Hauptman).

There may be an angel in the crowd. Mariette Hartley is Harriet Varner, a well-to-do Church-going mystery woman with a backstory that defines her life (and her aloofness) and drives her intention to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Hartley is cool and exquisite as she deals with her demons and manages Nick's first manipulative and then wooing advances.

Rodriguez has thankfully given her cast all the finely wound rope they need to demonstrate their prowess and to give the audience a reason for a smile and a tear as the story draws to its redemptive conclusion.

The importance of a safe and reliable place like Silver Skies for folks in their gray and golden years cannot be underestimated. One can find peace in a place like this because, as Harriet says, "the clocks don't run on time." SILVER SKIES the movie is a warm and tender-hearted reminder of the respect and regard to be afforded to those in their sunset years for whom the sun still rises.

Photo credit to SILVER SKIES

Related Articles View More Phoenix Stories   Shows

From This Author Herbert Paine