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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This film is intended to entertain, not educate.
There's no place like home.
Positive Role Models
Dr. Steve Webster is a tireless researcher and a strong advocate for having a hospital built in the small town in which he lives. Jenny Hollingsworth is precociously honest, but learns to love those who have taken her in.
Violence & Scariness
A character brandishes a rifle and threatens to shoot a dog, but never pulls the trigger. A little girl witnesses a plane crash. The plane is shown falling from the sky, but the crash itself is not shown. Early in the film, a great-grandfather priest is shown acting ill, on the verge of dying.
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A little girl is teased for wearing ragged clothing.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A main character is often shown smoking a pipe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Driftwood is a quaint slice of 1940's nostalgia, with a very young Natalie Wood playing the role of a precocious, scripture-quoting little orphan girl. One of the main characters smokes a pipe, and there are a few scary moments, like when a plane is falling from the sky, a grandfather seems close to death, and a collie is threatened with the death penalty for allegedly biting the backside of the mayor's bratty son. But on the whole, Driftwood is as much a family film as it is a study in how people related to one another in small towns in the 1940s. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For better or worse, they don't make movies like DRIFTWOOD anymore. Some will consider it corny and others will consider it quaint, but at the end of the day, the movie is an enjoyable slice of gosh-wow nostalgia, or at least a glimpse into How Things Used to Be. The days of malt shops, of neighbors knowing neighbors, of women feeling it's necessary to get married lest they turn into old maids, of spotted fever outbreaks among children.
A very young Natalie Wood plays the role of the precociously honest cute child to the hilt. The courtroom scene is hilarious -- intentionally and unintentionally. The ending, naturally, ties up everything in a fairly tidy and completely happy bow.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.