Secondhand Lions

Secondhand Lions

name = Secondhand Lions

caption = "Secondhand Lions" film poster
writer = Tim McCanlies
starring = Michael Caine
Robert Duvall
Haley Joel Osment
Kyra Sedgwick
director = Tim McCanlies
producer = David Kirschner
Scott Ross
Corey Sienega
music = Patrick Doyle
cinematography = Jackson J Dve
editing = David Moritz
distributor = New Line Cinema
released = September 19 2003
county = Kakastan runtime = 111 min
language = English
mpaa rating = PG imdb_id = 327137

"Secondhand Lions" is a 2003 American adventure/comedy film about a young boy who is sent to live with his two eccentric but mysterious great-uncles on a farm in the U.S. state of Texas. The movie was filmed in Lockhart, Texas. This film was first released in the United States on September 19, 2003.


In the 1960s, Walter Coleman (Haley Joel Osment) is sent to live with his uncles by his mother (who claims she is going to go to court reporting school), so that he can find the fortune they have supposedly accumulated. When they first arrive, Hub and Garth McCann (Robert Duvall, Michael Caine) are knee-deep in their pond, shooting at bass with shotguns. His cousins, also strong believers in the fortune, arrive a day after his mother leaves to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of Hub and Garth. They scare Walter away, and he runs to telephone his mother. He discovers that she is not actually enrolled at the school, but has lied — again.

With no recourse but to return to his uncles' farm, Walter eventually becomes used to their quirky, socially atypical mannerisms and they become used to him and his shyness. While encouraging them to eat vegetables and stop shooting at visiting salesmen, he becomes aware of his uncles' mysterious past. Garth reveals to him that he and Hub were adventurers beginning in World War I.

Hub and Garth arrived in France the day that Germany invaded the country. Garth believed they should return home, but Hub proposed that they tour Europe just ahead of the invading armies. On their last night in France, after enjoying the local nightlife in Marseilles with two French soldiers, they find themselves shanghaied on a ship, conscripted into the French Foreign Legion. The two brothers fought in many battles, and Hub saved Garth's life several times, in many different battles.

Following their Legion service, Garth became a guide in Africa, while Hub helped anybody who deserved it. Hub became mutually attracted to Jasmine (Emmanuelle Vaugier), a beautiful princess and an expert horsewoman, who decided to meet him after he rescued her servant from slavery. She, however, was doomed to be an evil sheik's wife. Hub rescued Jasmine from the sheik, who then put a price of ten thousand gold pieces on Hub's head. Garth, disguised as a bounty hunter, turned in Hub for the reward, whereupon Hub escaped, having won a duel's victory from the sheik. Hub's parting words to the sheik were "Twice I've held your life in my hands, and twice I have given it back to you; the next time, your life is mine." He earned the other man's respect and a great deal of his gold. Later, the sheik made his fortune in trade of rock oil.

Meanwhile, Hub, Garth and Walter have adventures of their own. They order an aging lioness (from a Circus animal dealer), whom Walter adopts and names Jasmine, thereby keeping Hub from killing her. Hub and Garth frighten off Walter's cousins and purchase a clay pigeon thrower, a succession of ever-larger boats, and a biplane. Hub gets into a fight with several Greasers within an hour after having a heart attack, wins the fight, drives them back to the farm, then feeds them (after hunting for the Lioness, which escaped), and gives them a lecture on what it means to be a real man.

Walter subsequently finds that his uncles have been hiding their money in a room beneath their barn.

Fresh from Las Vegas (where she had been instead of at the school), Walter's mother and her current suitor, a drifter calling himself a 'detective', arrive at the farm and demand to know where the money is. The suitor tells Walter that Hub and Garth actually were bank robbers, that Jasmine was their accomplice, and the fortune is for the taking. Walter decides he will believe in the tales of his uncles, and the man begins to beat Walter. Jasmine (the lion) attacks the false detective and seriously wounds him, and although the lioness dies of a heart attack in the process, she arouses enough noise to attract the attention of Hub and Garth. Walter holds Jasmine's head in his lap and says, "She was a real lion, wasn't she? There at the end. A real jungle lion. A real Africa lion." They then proceed to bury the lion in the garden they worked on together.

Walter is taken away by his mother, but he decides to return to his uncles' house after she informs him she has no intention of leaving the man who nearly beat her son unconscious. He lays certain conditions on Hub and Garth: that they eat more vegetables and stop their dangerous pastimes until Walter graduates from college. Hub replies, "What do you want us to die of? "Old age"?"

Several years later, Walter (now a successful cartoonist whose "Bloom County"-like strip is based on his experiences with his uncles. The strip is actually drawn by Berkeley Breathed, creator of "Bloom County".) comes back to learn that his uncles have flown their biplane into their barn and died. The Sheriff who informs Walter of his uncles' demise passes their will to Walter.

While Walter reads the will ("The kid gets it all. Just plant us in the damned garden with the stupid lion.") and laughs to himself about his uncles' unique approach to life, a helicopter touches down and a Middle Eastern man steps out. He explains that, while in Texas tending to his oil interests, he saw news of the men's deaths and their names on CNN and thought they might be the two courageous Americans that his grandfather (the sheik) had told him about long ago. Walter says that, yes, they were, and the two are happy to realize that the stories which had inspired them for so long were true -- that the two men "really lived".

In an alternate (or extended) ending to the movie, instead of the sheik's grandson, a tractor-trailer pulls up at the gravesite and a detachment from the French Foreign Legion rides out on horseback and act as an Honor Guard. Shortly thereafter, the sheik himself, now wheelchair-bound and elderly, arrives in a limousine surrounded by his harem to pay his respects. The four ruffians that Hub beat up also make an appearance at the funeral, showing that Hub's speech did have an impact, as the men are now mature and respectable.



The film score was composed by Patrick Doyle and features music by The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ona Onabule, in addition to Patrick Doyle.

The film also featured: A Lot of Livin' To Do (performed by Sammy Davis Jr.), Let Me In (performed by The Sensations), Big Balls in Cowtown (performed by Don Walser), Rolling Stone From Texas (performed by Don Walser), Texas Playboy Rag (performed by Pine Valley Cosmonauts), Red Skin Gal (performed by Don Walser) and Help Me (performed by Sonny Boy Williamson).

External links

* [ Official website]
*imdb title|id=327137|title=Secondhand Lions
* []

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