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Screening as a memorial to Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002), who created Pippi Longstocking and other paragons of courage, this 1987 feature is closely adapted from the classic adventure Mio, My Son. An oRphan, frustrated with his strict aunt, is transported from modern-day Stockholm to a medieval realm where his father (Timothy Bottoms) is the king, and with his best buddy at his side he journeys to a distant island to rescue children abducted by an evil knight (Christopher Lee). Lindgren's book, noted for its pageantry and rhythmic language, drew from Nordic mythology, Arthurian legend, and the Bible; this unimaginative Russian-Scandinavian production, directed by Vladimir Grammatikov, succumbs to lethargy, its wooden acting alleviated only by Lee's usual malevolence. With Christian Bale and Susannah York. 100 min.

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