Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked TV-Movie: Hallmark Hall of Fame, "Aunt Mary"

Tuesday's Overlooked this week is the heartwarming 1979 TV-movie Aunt Mary.

Aunt Mary, a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation from 1979, is based on a true story and stars Jean Stapleton as Mary, a crutch-using single woman who befriends a group of tough young boys and does her best to teach them discipline, teamwork, and morals by organizing them into a baseball team. Her friends, including veteran character actors Martin Balsam, Dolph Sweet, and Harold Gould, think she's wasting time on these young punks, but in typical Hallmark fashion, she proves the naysayers wrong. When Mary faces aversity later in the film, the boys come to her rescue.

The film is based on the true story of Mary Dobkin, who organized youngsters in her town into the "Dobkin Dynamiters" baseball team in the Baltimore area in the 1940s. I saw this film only once on late night TV in the early 80s, and I came across it haphazardly. I was so compelled by it I couldn't turn it off, even though I was very tired. I've never seen it since, but I've never forgotten it.

Unfortunately, it's never been released on home video as far as I can tell, nor is it available on any video streaming services. Here, however, is a minutes long montage of a few scenes from the film.

Enjoy! For more overlooked treasures, please visit friend Todd Mason's blog Sweet Freedom. Thanks!


Todd Mason said...

I wonder if Hallmark HOF productions sometimes fall under the same sorts of rights limbo that PBS (and earlier NET) programming too often does. One would think they kept it more in hand, but no reason they'd Have to Have Done, as opposed to Should Have.

Phillyradiogeek said...

Considering Hallmark has two cable channels, I'd think older movies would have a chance to air. Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

A Great Film. I saw it when I was about 8 years old and learning to play ball. I never forgot it and have searched quite a few times just to even figure out the name of the Film. Now I know and there is nowhere to see it? The 70's were the best time for real social-political film making. Almost everything had depth vs "entertainment". Films like Aunt Mary inspire us to think about life and people in a deeper way than the cliche' Entertainment films of the pre & post 1970's. I hope to one day see this film I remember so fondly from my 8 year old mind's perspective. She really loved the "Kids" and the "Birds" and the "Game". I miss you Aunt Mary...


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