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The Independent Critic

Nan Gurley, Carrie Tillis, Conrad John Schuck
Matt Logan
A.S. Peterson
153 Mins.
Trafalgar Releasing

 Movie Review: The Hiding Place  
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There are certain films that simply never need to be remade. The Hiding Place, a 1975 film starring Jeanette Clift George and Julie Harris, is one of them. While the film didn't necessarily receive extensive critical acclaim, garnering only a single Golden Globe nomination for George as Most Promising Newcomer - Female, it's a film that continues to hold a special place in our hearts. 

The good news, at least for me, is that Trafalgar Releasing's upcoming two-day screening for The Hiding Place, scheduled for theaters on August 3rd and 5th, isn't really a remake of the classic film but a cinematic presentation of the award-winning stage play adapted from the film by A.S. Peterson. 

For those unfamiliar, The Hiding Place is based upon Corrie Ten Boom's autobiographical book of the same name Sharing her family's experiences hiding hundreds of Jewish refugees during World War II and the consequences they face once discovered including their own imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp. 

If you've read the book, The Hiding Place will feel familiar. If you've seen the 1975 film, The Hiding Place will feel familiar. While The Hiding Place undeniably looks and feels like the stage adaptation that it is, this is a riveting adaptation beautifully brought to life by the iconic Nan Gurley as Corrie Ten Boom, Carrie Tillis (Mel's also very talented daughter) as Corrie's sister Betsie, and stage and film veteran Conrad John Schuck as father Casper Ten Boom. 

The Hiding Place is a story of faith, hope, love, and forgiveness in the face of unthinkable evil. Directed by Matt Logan from Peterson's adaptation, this 2-1/2 hour stage production was filmed for cinema audiences in Nashville, Tennessee. The Hiding Place is unrated and contains no graphic violence, foul language, or nudity. However, it does deal with the Holocaust in an honest and straightforward manner and definitely tackles mature themes. 

Gurley gives a tremendous performance as Corrie Ten Boom, a figure I've never quite forgotten from my countless readings of her book as a student. Long considered a Dutch resistance hero, Ten Boom is well known for her protecting Jewish refugees but she's lesser known for her fearless efforts to save those with disabilities who were among the first killed by the Nazis and whose extermination continued throughout World War II. The Hiding Place is in many ways throwback theatre, possessing a sort of reverent classicism that enthralls and immerses. Gurley's performance nicely captures Ten Boom's vulnerability, passion, and remarkable faith. 

While given less to do, Carrie Tillis similarly shines as Betsie and Schuck is absolutely stellar as Casper. The rest of the ensemble cast captivates throughout and this is that rare 2-1/2 hour experience that feels wholly justified. 

In speaking about this cinematic presentation, Logan said "The Hiding Place is about a family and a community that needed one another to survive,” said Logan. “It’s so easy to think that it was the Jews who needed the Ten Booms, but the Ten Booms were equally blessed by the Jews that took refuge. It strikes me to think the Ten Booms brought the Jews’ battle upon themselves – even though it wasn’t their own – in an act of humanity. I ask myself, ‘Would I have done the same?’

Indeed, you will be asking yourself the very same question by the end of this compelling and engaging special event. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic