Sloppily sentimental in spots and brilliantly moving in others, overall this is a wonderful film, thanks to Rooney's fine effort and to the little boy that almost stole it all from him on celluloid, the marvelous "Butch" Jenkins. Collins is the narrator of the story, speaking from
somewhere in the spirit world since he's been dead for two years when he decides to return to the family homestead in idealized Ithaca, California. He oversees the lives of his family, consisting of wife Bainter; grown son Johnson, a private in the Army; daughter Reed, a college student; teenage
son Rooney, a high school junior; and precocious four-year-old Jenkins. Close to the family is...