The movie begins with Walter, a twelve year boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, traveling with his single parent mother on their way to drop Walter off with his notoriously eccentric great-uncles, played by Micheal Caine and Robert Duval. She tells Walter that the uncles have been missing for forty years and have only recently turned up on the farm they now own and live on. She instructs her son to see if he can find where they hide all their money.
Click here to see the rest of this review
When they arrive at the farm they find Duvall and Caine shooting fish in their pond from a rowboat. Later various travelling salesmen drive up and try to sell Caine and Duvall their wares, but are shooed away by the two men with shotguns. That evening Walter discovers Duvall, dressed in his nightshirt, down at the pond, wrestling, in an apparent sleep-walk, with invisible opponents. The next day they all three begin to dig a garden plot in what Caine says is their new occupation of being farmers. This activity is interrupted by the arrival of a man and woman and some kids, who are apparently distant and money-seeking relatives. When the outspoken relatives succeed in upsetting Walter, he runs from the farm to a pay phone in town where he tries to contact his mother, but is told she is not, as she pretended to be, a student at the school. Walter reacts badly to this lie, and later his uncles find him crying and planning to run away to Montana, but they convince him to return to the farm.
The next night Walter again discovers Duvall in his nightshirt staring out at the pond in a sort of trance. Caine explains the back-story of the two uncles involving escapdes of a daring nature in Europe and later in North Africa, where they joined the French Foreign Legion. It is here where Duval meets the mysterious woman whose photo Walter has seen, named Jasmine. Duval rescued her from a powerful sheik and later married her.
The next day two animal movers arrive at the farm with a crate containing a very old lion, who the uncles intend to shoot for safari, but Walter convinces them to let him keep it as a pet. The lion later proves his bravery when it dies rescuing Walter from a beating by one of his mother's boyfriends who is intent on finding the location of the money. A number of other episodes, most of a humorous flavor round out the conclusion of the movie.
The review of this Movie prepared by Charles Grierson
Walter's neglectful mother sends him to spend the summer on a large but rundown-looking homestead run by his two great-uncles, Hub and Garth. Walter is obviously a neglected child, shy and withdrawn, and it's up to his great-uncles to draw him out. They begin to bond over the summer, purchasing parts of an old biplane and even taking in an old lion as a pet (Walter names it Jasmine, in honor of Hub's long-dead wife). And Garth loves telling tall tales and fantastic stories.
But then Walter's mother shows up again with a violent boyfriend in tow. The main reason she had wanted Walter to stay with his eccentric relatives is that they are rumored to be very rich, and she wanted Walter to find out where they keep their money. However, when she shows up with her newest boyfriend, Walter does not want to leave his great-uncles, whom he has gotten very attached to.
The review of this Movie prepared by Esther