(June 20/02) If memory serves, the ad campaign for School Ties centered around the fact that Brendan Fraser was a Jewish student at a decidedly non-Jewish boarding school.
But, watching the film now without the images of that trailer in my mind, the film is about so much more than that (though that does become a pivotal plot point towards the end).
There's nothing particularly daring or even original about School Ties, but the movie still works due mostly to some fine performances and a well-paced script.
Fraser, in particular, demonstrates why he's capable of working on films that doesn't feature a computer-generated mummy.
Everything seems fine and dandy, until his Jewish identity is revealed.
Carpenter was 22 at the time, and though he had made a series of short films dating back to when he was 8, this was his first involvement in a, shall we say, "serious project" (though I know Carpenter himself would bristle at that terminology).He roams about town, enduring mild misfortune and general alienation, and ultimately divorces himself from reality, choosing cowboy daydreams over modern malaise.As such, I'd say it's a slightly darker film than John Carpenter's twangy, nostalgic country guitar riffs would lead you to believe. Written by John Carpenter, Nick Castle (co-writer of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, was "The Shape" in HALLOWEEN, directed THE LAST STARFIGHTER), Trace Johnston, James R. "THE RESURRECTION OF BRONCHO BILLY was a USC student film from producer John Longenecker and his "Super Crew" of four young filmmakers (including Carpenter and notable crony Nick Castle). Tag-line: "The Academy Award Winning sepia-toned tribute to the Old West and Western film."Notable Cast or Crew: Johnny Crawford (THE SHOOTIST, EL DORADO), Kristin Harmon (OZZIE & HARRIET, Ricky Nelson's wife 1963-1982), Wild Bill Tucker. Best one-liner: "You're spendin' all your money at the movies, you oughta put some of that into payin' your rent!