Bless the Beasts and Children (1971)

Stanley Kramer’s eranest film is remembered now as the film which introduced the song “Nadia’s Theme,” also known as the title music for the popular TV soap, “The Young and the Restless.”

Well-meaning but messagy and heavy-handed like most of Kramer’s films as director (but not producer), “Bless the Beasts and Children” centers on six idealistic young boys who rescue of a buffalo herd.

Needless to say, Kramer emphasizes the symbiotic (and symbolic) relationship between the boys and the beasts. The kids are all misfits, outsdier and/or losers, and they identify completely with the buffalos about to be slaughtered.

The plot is slender, and once you get its intent, the tale gets less involving, and more obvious and predictable

Even so, the location photography (with Catalina standing in for Arizona) is impressive, and so is the Oscar-nominated song.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Song: Bless the Beasts and Children, music and lyrics by Barry DeVorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The controversial Song winner was Isaac Hayes’ theme song from “Shaft.”

Credits:

MPAA Rating: PG.

Running time: 102 Minutes.

Directed by Stanley Kramer

Released: June 1, 1971.

Cast

Barry Robins as Cotton

Miles Chapin as Shecker

Darel Glaser as Goodenow

Bob Kramer as Lally I

Marc Vahanian as Lally 2

William Bramley as Goodenow’s Stepfather

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