(director/writer: Morris Engels and Ruth Orkin; cinematographer: Morris Engels; editor: Ruth Orkin; music: Eddy Manson; cast: Lori March (Ann), Gerald O’Loughlin (Larry), Cathy Dunn (Peggy), William Ward (Peter); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Morris Engels and Ruth Orkin; Kino; 1956)
“A most gratifying modest domestic drama; an indie gem.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A most gratifying modest domestic drama; an indie gem. It’s a charming follow-up to cowriter and codirector Morris Engels and Ruth Orkin’s highly successful Little Fugitive.

The film is set in the sweltering summer in Manhattan, when only movie theaters seemed to have air-conditioning and not every household had a TV. It involves go-getter engineer Larry (Gerald O’Loughlin) on holiday from his South American location, who dates his old friend, the lonely attractive widow Ann (Lori March), who lives in a modest Manhattan brownstone apartment with her precocious 7-year-old daughter Peggy (Cathy Dunn). The playful girl feels threatened that nice guy Larry is mommy’s suitor, and the gist of the film follows the courtship that takes in such familiar city landmarks as the Central Park Zoo, the Museum of Modern Art, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, Chinatown, an unidentified beach (I think it was Rye Beach’s Playland) and Macy’s Toy Department.

The uninhibited Cathy steals the pic, as she throws childish fits that makes the relationship between the adults touch and go until she finally gets over her anxiety and accepts the generous Larry as her step-father. It might all be obvious, but it was good-hearted fun and most realistic.

Lovers and Lollipops (1956)