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Cast | Classic Lines | Formats | Notes | Pictures | Sounds | Synopsis - Official | My Summary | My Review | Together Again
|Angel Gabriel||Malcolm McDowell|
|Mary Weinstein||Mira Sorvino|
|Sadie Weinstein||Anne Byrne|
|Abe Weinstein||Ivan Kronenfeld|
|Dr. Gallagher||Tim Monsion|
|Kindergarten Teacher||Lisa Gillman|
|Wise Men|| Ed Hearstadt
|Boardwalk Cruisers|| Franz von Rassel
|Slovenly Bum||John Dresher|
|Baby Jake||Alexandria Rotatori|
|Toddler Jake||Julien Amadeo te Neles|
Directed by Katharina Otto and Ralph Howard
This is the script of Malcolm's two scenes.
Gabriel: Greetings, you who are highly favored. The lord is with you...ah, no, no, I'm not the lord. The lord is with you, figuratively. I am the Angel Gabriel. Don't be afraid Mary. You have found favor with god, you will have his child, a son, you will give him the name Jake. Yes, yes Jake, he will be great, and he will be called the son of the most high. Any questions? Oh, Good. I'm sorry I wasn't the first one to give you the good news, modern medicine being what it is, I'm a little late. So long. Auf wiedersehn.
M: This is impossible, I'm going mad?
G: Mad? No, you are blessed. You are in perfect health, cosmically. And do you mind? It's tobaccoless. I'm not mortal, but I ah still like to watch my health. I realize this is rather difficult and sometimes I wish that he could just deliver the news himself. It's sort of a Cyrnao de Bergerac thing with him.
M: Why is this happening to me?
G: Come on Mary, give yourself a break. Your parents are devout...plus I think he likes your eyes. And can I be frank? Do you know how hard it is to find a virgin of adult age in 1960? One who is in perfect health, not to mention a good enough sport.
G: And who's Jewish. He always had a thing about Jewish girls. Now personally, I like tall, blond Swedes. This Anita Eckbert type...oh, now there's a big, tall woman hmm. Now please Mary, don't despair. There is a reason for all of this everything is going to be alright. Oh and um you know you should go out and do some dating. See other people. He's not the jealous type.
M: This temporary insanity, or are you coming back?
G: To coin a phrase, and I've minted my fair share, something wonderful is about to happen. Ah, I'm so bored with that tune. (Great Balls of Fire plays).
G: Hello Jake, Hello, how are you doing. I thought I'd throw you a surprise. I've got something for you. Ha! There goes the world. There. Oh how I envy you, so young, so alive. Treasure this between me and you. Find something inside of you, to dream. Ahh, there's nothing quite like eternity to bore the living daylights out of you. Well, I suppose I won't be seeing you too much more of you as you get older. You are going to have to make you own way in this world. That's going to be the hard part. Devotes all still songs, a song of ourselves. You are the instrument upon which love will write its songs. Oh, ahh one other thing. You may think I'm crazy, go with the Mets in '69...so long.
VHS - NTSC
Running Time 33 minutes, no rating, filmed in NY.
Malcolm Close-up from box
VHS Cover - Front
VHS Cover - Back
Mind if I smoke?
Watching over Jake
here to listen to any of the classic lines below
I'm not mortal, but I still like to watch my health.
Now personally, I like tall blond Swedes, the Anita Eckbert type...oooh, now there's a big, tall woman.
Ahh, I'm so bored with that tune.
Ahh, there's nothing quite like eternity to bore the living daylights out of you.
You may think I'm crazy, go with the Mets in '69
It can happen any place, any time. It
happened in a Port-O-let on the Coney Island Boardwalk in 1960. Mary Weinstein,
a nice Jewish virgin, is about to receive the blessed news - she's pregnant!
The Second Greatest Story Ever Told follows Mary through a crowd of outrageous characters, as she searches for answers to her seemingly impossible problem. Starring Mira Sorvino as the modern day Virgin Mary, and Malcolm McDowell as the Angel Gabriel, the film retells the Greatest Story Ever Told, this time with a twist!
It is 1960 and Mary is a 24 year old Jewish
girl relaxing on the boardwalk at Coney Island New York. Suddenly her friends
Lucy and Arleen startle her. They eat cotton candy make fun of her that she
should be looking for boys instead of day dreaming. In fact she has earned the
nick name "Virgin Mary" since she hasn't ever been with a boy and
hasn't even dated anyone since 1957.
When a pair of boys walk by and notice them Mary's friends wave and try to get their attention. Before anything can happen the girls mothers chase the boys away telling them they know their mothers.
Mary gets up to use the port-o-let (portable toilet) and her mother doesn't want her to because they are filthy and you never know who has used them. To prove her point a slovenly bum comes out while they are talking. But she really has to go and they relent.
While sitting there an angelic light shines in on her and angels sing. She gets out feeling all weird and not understanding. She thinks it must've been from eating the candy. Her mother thinks it is from the stench of the place.
That night at dinner Mary's Aunt Gladys is with them and Sadie is telling her the story of how Mary was born in a movie theater for the umpteenth time. Mary wants her to stop, but Gladys likes the story. Her mom explains how it was a double feature and that she came 10 minutes before the intermission and how she never saw the second movie. Her father whispers to her that it was 1933 classic and she can't believe that he stayed. Her mother confesses that he wanted to name her Leslie after Leslie Howard. Her father does an impression and Mary says he missed his calling. He explains how he would've been in show business if it wasn't for her mother. When her mom comes back she hassles her about finding a guy and settling down already.
A couple months later Mary isn't feeling good and goes to Dr, Gallagher doctor. She tries to tell her mom that she is late, but she doesn't get it. The doctor tells her she only has seven months now. She is horrified that she only has such a short time to live and calls it a tumor and tells the doctor her live is over. He tells her she is overreacting about being pregnant. Now she can't believe she is pregnant since she never has had sex. She tells him she has a reputation for having no reputation.
She tells her mom she is OK, but has to eat more prunes. Her mother says she should've listened to her and tells her Joey is back from college. Joey is a neighbor whom Mary likes, but doesn't want to date. Her mom tries to fix them up, but she is in no mood. He dad says Joey is OK, like a clumsy Jimmy Stewart. She goes up to bed and cries.
Then a light shines down and the Angel Gabriel arrives dressed in an expensive suit. He tells her that the Lord is with her and she is shocked. He explains that HE isn't the lord, but just a messenger. She is to name the baby Jake when he is born and wanted to thanks her for being a good sport. He asks if she has any questions and when she doesn't say anything he turns to leave muttering how boring it is here. She then yells to wait and he stops. She thinks that she has gone mad and this is all a hallucination. He explains that it is not and goes to have a tobaccoless cigarette. He may be mortal, but he isn't stupid, but then he decides against it. She was chosen because she was kind, decent, morale, an adult virgin and most of all Jewish. He explains that the boss has a fancy for Jewish girls as well as liking her eyes. He prefers big blond Swedish girls himself. He also tells her it is OK to date since God isn't the jealous type. She still thinks it is all a dream and he tells her he'll be back once in a while to check on her and leaves.
The next day she wakes up thinking that it must be the strangest dream ever, but notices the cigarette he left behind. She goes to the park to tell her friends, but of course they don't really believe her. They also know she didn't have sex, so they figure something is up.
Mary goes off to be with Joey and they spend time together for a few weeks. When Joey finally tries to profess his love for her, she stops him. She tells him she wouldn't want her and confesses that she is pregnant. When he asks where the father is she points to the sky. He thinks that means he is dead and agrees to take care of her and raise the baby and she is happy.
The next thing we she is that the baby is born and everyone is standing around them including three Wise potato chip men.
Then it is 12 months later and Jake is playing in his crib when Gabriel comes to visit. He says he has a present for him and gives him a blow up globe which Jake tosses out of the crib. He tells him he just went and threw the world away. He also tells him how boring eternity is and that he just came by to see how he was doing, but he wouldn't be back again. Before he goes he tells him though it sounds crazy that Jake should go with the Mets in 1969. The End
What were they thinking here?! Right when the
film gets rolling it stops dead for no reason. What was the point? Why go
through all the trouble of setting up God's return to Earth and ending it when
he gets to one year old? What was Gabriel trying to say at the end? Why did he
show up at all only to say when he turned one he wouldn't come back? What was
the point of the Mets reference? If he was God wouldn't he know that anyway?
It starts out pretty blasphemous with Mary getting pregnant on the toilet. It would've been interesting if they kept that sort of angle going, but it went nowhere. Their seems to have been a bit of an ACO flavor here by having Malcolm and beginning and ending with Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
Malcolm only has two scenes in this very short film, a little over 6 minutes of total screen time. At one point he almost lights up a cigarette and I was going to be surprised since I never saw him smoke on film, only in real life. As usual he is the strongest presence in the film and did seem to have fun with it. His murmurings about being bored with mortality almost seem adlibbed. He had a sort of gangster look in his dark pin stripe suit, but I would've preferred to see him a bit over the top in white with a halo and wings!
There really isn't much to say about the film. It isn't good and it isn't bad because it wasn't given a chance to really go anywhere. The joke about the 3 Wise (Potato Chip) Men was also so weird that I didn't even get it until I read 'Wise Men' in the credits. I didn't understand why they were in the film at all.
It seems pretty low budget and has a kind of student film feel to it. I think it will someday be regarded as a sort of cult film because it is one of Mira Sorvino's earliest works. I wish they would go back and film an hour long sequel to this, since everyone would be around 7 years older it would all workout for the scenes when they are older.
2002 - Malcolm and Mira were both in Between Strangers.
This page © 2001-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net