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Aged vets goose The Golden Boys

Rating: **1/2

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Between them, veteran actors David Carradine, Rip Torn and Bruce Dern have racked up 147 years of screen time, and The Golden Boys capitalizes on that vast pool of experience by allowing these three performers full rein to work their movie mojo. It's impossible to recommend this piffle to anyone who doesn't possess an ounce of interest in these accomplished thespians or the filmic heritage from which they draw, but seniors and cinema buffs might derive some modest measure of pleasure from the end result.

Working from a 1904 novel by Joseph C. Lincoln titled Cap'n Eri: A Story of the Coast, The Golden Boys centers on three septuagenarian sea captains sharing a Cape Cod home. Deciding that they need a woman to look after them -- but unwilling to pay for a housekeeper -- the crusty trio decides that one of them must immediately find a wife. Captain Zeb (Carradine) and Captain Perez (Dern) are let off the hook when Captain Jerry (Torn) loses the coin toss, but once the chosen woman -- the sensible, middle-aged Martha (Mariel Hemingway) -- enters their lives and the twice-married Jerry continues to balk at the idea of getting hitched yet again, the other two men find themselves captivated by her charm and intelligence.

Charles Durning, looking shockingly frail at 86, turns up as a God-fearing man who believes actions speak louder than words, while John Savage, the spring chicken among the males at the age of 59, appears as a city slicker who wants to introduce (gasp!) rum to this quiet community. Other characters flutter in and out of the story, but really, all that matters here is the triumvirate heading the cast. These three vets are a delight to watch, even if the movie around them remains soggy.

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