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1971 Film “Melody” Review: The Story of Ornshaw and Daniel

The track meet scene

Ornshaw and Daniel at the track meet in “Melody”

If you’ve never seen the 1971 movie “Melody,” I highly recommend doing what you have to in order to get a copy of this five-star gem.

The movie is often described as being “a movie about puppy love,” referring to the charming story line about Daniel Latimer and Melody Perkins. I believe the movie, which came out 44 years ago, is more about the close friendship between Ornshaw and Daniel, played exquisitely by the late Jack Wild and Mark Lester; it is simply a story about love.

Melody, played by Tracy Hyde, plays a pivotal role in affecting that friendship.  The movie is aptly named “Melody” because she is the centerpiece that the boys trip over-the catalyst that stirs and causes emotions to rise and tumble forth in all their beauty, pain, and angst, as love often does to challenge its bearers.

There are many types of love, you may point out. Love isn’t always so simple; what type of love am I talking about?

I am talking about this type of love:

The type of love that frees one to let down his guard and drop his defense because his soul feels safe with another;

The type of love that enables one to see through the confusion of pride and misunderstanding and emerge strong and victorious;

The type of love that prompts one to do whatever he can to meet a need of the other, even when trusted resources fail to help him meet that need;

The type of love that drives one to rise up to the defense of the person who disappointed him, even if it means standing up to his peers;

The type of love that calls one to step outside his comfort zone to do a favor for a friend, especially when doing so goes against his own self-interest;

The type of love that cannot hold a grudge, even though there have been all types of pain inflicted. Not only are grudges lifted, but this love will inspire one injured party to stand up with the other in support of the other’s happiness.

Against such love there can be no law.

All of this is in the movie “Melody?” This is what I have experienced, all spread out before me like a banquet for the soul; this and Bee Gees hit music to take you there.  If “Melody” fans have missed any of it, I encourage you to go back and watch again.  I think this is what the movie “Melody” is all about; and it doesn’t sound like puppy love to me.

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