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Best Boy (1979-1997)

Cast: Philly Wohl
Director: Ira Wohl
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: New Video Group, Docurama
Genre: Documentary, Biographies, Political & Social Issues
Languages: English
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Best Boy (1979)
Director Ira Wohl took on this personally courageous project that may ultimately help other people who live under the same circumstances as Wohl's aunt, uncle, and their mentally handicapped son Philly. When Wohl started filming this documentary, Philly was entering his fifties, and his parents were not going to live forever. They had always taken care of Philly but Wohl intervenes not only with the eye of his camera, but with his encouragement to get Philly living on his own. The process of his aunt and uncle coming to terms with giving up their only remaining son is enlightening and moving, as are the changes Philly goes through himself. Best Boy received a 1979 Academy Award and a 1980 New York Film Critics Award for "Best Documentary." ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Best Man (1997)
Filmmaker Ira Wohl focuses on his mentally retarded 70-year-old cousin, Phil Wohl, for this documentary -- a sequel to the Oscar-winning documentary Best Boy, made 20 years earlier. Best Boy showed Philly living with his elderly parents. Ira Wohl employed the original crew for this follow-up and incorporates clips from the first film. With Philly's parents since deceased, he's now cared for by his sister Frances. After establishing Philly's usual daily routines, the film shows him traveling to Los Angeles on his first plane trip. Shown at the AFI/Los Angeles Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Filmmaker Biography

See also Wohl's follow-up feature, BEST MAN.
See also Wohl's original documentary, BEST BOY.

Ira Wohl's Best Boy, winner of 1979's Best Documentary Oscar, was the epitome of a "labor of love." Wohl made the film about his mentally retarded cousin Philly to capture - and speed up - the process of making him more independent, better able to function without the aid of his aging parents. The film is both heartbreaking and uplifting, and has, over time, become one of the most important films ever made about the mentally disabled. Wohl spoke with Craig Phillips about the impact the film had and continues to have on perceptions of people like Philly and on Philly himself. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Ratings

Best Boy (1979)
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7.29 (59 votes)
Best Man (1997)
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6.50 (14 votes)

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