- Title: USA: JAMES CROMWELL IS NEXT TO BE SEEN IN "THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE"
- Date: 19th November 1997
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (RTV-ACCESS ALL) (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) RICHARD FRIEDENBERG SAYING, "IT CERTAINLY PORTRAYS A ROUGH TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY, A TIME WHEN THERE WAS NO MONEY, DURING THE DEPRESSION, A TIME WHEN MINORITIES WERE TREATED VERY BADLY, AND I THINK ALL THAT COMES OUT." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) JAMES CROMWELL SAYING OF HELPING THE NATIVE AMERICAN CAUSE, "I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THERE WOULD BE ANY WAY THAT I COULD CONTRIBUTE, AND THEN JUST ABOUT THE TIME, WELL, I HADN'T GOTTEN "LITTLE TREE", I WAS ASKED TO WORK WITH AN ORGANIZATION CALLED "WALKING SHIELD" AND I BEGAN, WHICH IS AN ORGANIZATION WHICH SERVES NATIVE AMERICANS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND SO I'M VERY MUCH INVOLVED IN THAT AND THEN "LITTLE TREE" CAME ABOUT."
- Reuters ID: LVAA0FS0C3GW0U2MLPLGLD7IQUSV
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES AND FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:43
- Story Text: - Oscar-nomianted actor James Cromwell heads the cast in a feature film adaptation of the best-selling book "The Education of Little Tree." Cromwell attended the film's premiere in Los Angeles on December 20 along with its director, Richard Friedenberg.
Cromwell plays the caring grandfather of 8-year old Little Tree, played by Joseph Ashton, a young boy who goes to live with his grandparents after his parents die in the wake of the Great Depression of the early 1930's.
Living in the backwoods of east Tennessee, his grandfather, a white man, and his grandmother, a Cherokee indian, teach Little Tree traditional Cherokee culture while tutoring him in reading and arithmetic. They also teach him how to live in harmony with nature, stand on his own feet and respect his fellow man. Hiking on wooded trails, fishing in pristine waters and basking in the glow of firelight, Little Tree discovers the serenity only nature, family and self-confidence can provide.
But their lives are dealt a shattering blow when local authorities discover the moonshine still that provides the family's only income. The grandparents are reported to the state welfare department, and Little Tree is sent to the Notched Gap Indian School. There he receives an education of a much different sort.
Stripped of his Indian name, he is exposed to injustice, prejudice and cruelty.
The film is the directorial debut by Richard Friedenberg, who previously wrote the Oscar nominated script for Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It." The producer is Jake Eberts, whose films have received nearly 70 Oscar nominations and won four Best Picture Academy Awards, including "Chariots of Fire," "Gandhi," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Dances With Wolves." Forrest Carter's novel The Education of Little Tree, fron which the film was adapted, became a best-seller upon publication in 1986. The book spent 19 weeks atop The New York Times non-fiction list because the author claimed it was based on his own experiences growing up. But his claim was disproved, and, after the ensuing controversy, the book moved to the fiction category, where it continued as a best-seller.
While Joseph Ashton has had small roles in the films "The Little Rascals" and "Soul Asylum" and on the television series "Dr.
Quinn, Medicine Woman," this is his first starring role in a feature film.
James Cromwell received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Babe." He recently starred with Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito and Kevin Spacey in the film adaptation of James Ellroy's best-seller, L.A. Confidential. His other films include "The People vs. Larry Flynt," "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Revenge of the Nerds."
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- Embargoed:4th December 1997 12:00
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