Soundtrack
Paperback
The Italian Job (1969)
The Great Santini

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SECONDHAND LIONS

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NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by ekennedy2.

It's the '60's. Young Walter's promiscuous mother leaves him off at the barren-looking Texas homestead of his two great-uncles Hub and Garth, promising to return in a few months.

There's a local rumor that the two old men have lots of money stowed somewhere, gotten, some speculate, when they were once hit men for the mob. Walter's mother instructs him to hunt for the money.

At first, Hub and Garth have no idea what to do with the boy, but soon recognize that he needs guidance and friendship.

Hub is feisty and distant, but the more sensitive Garth spins a swashbuckling tale of lost love and faraway adventure in the French Foreign Legion. Their money, he tells Walter, comes from defeating and sparing the life of Arabian bandit. Walter isn't sure he believes the stories, but Hub tells him it's sometimes important to be able to believe in something you can't see.

Over the summer, the boy and the old men form a bond. Hub and Garth learn to enjoy their wealth and Walter receives the nuturing and guidance he has needed for so long. They buy the parts to an old biplane and adopt an elderly lion, whom Walter names Jasmine, after Hub's long-dead and much-beloved wife.

When Walter's mother returns with another sleazy boyfriend to retrieve the boy, violence erupts over the hidden money and Jasmine the Lion dies protecting Walter from the boyfriend.

Walter is forced to leave with his mother, but on the road, suddenly realizes that his mother is in yet another abusive relationship and that he belongs with the uncles. He persuades her to be unselfish for once and to let him go. She does and he returns to the ranch with a more confident attitude.

Fast forward about 10 or 15 years. The two uncles have been killed doing exhuberant tricks on their biplane, but have left the ranch to Walter, who is now a successful cartoonist. As he arrives at the ranch to survey the wreckage, a helicoptor lands and a man with a young son emerge. The man tells Walter that his grandfather was the bandit whom Hub and Garth had spared all those years ago. The family wealth is now in oil, and Garth's colorful stories of adventure were all true.

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