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MILLER’S TALE (2011) documentary review

Thank for reading my review of Miller’s Tale. This fascinating documentary deserves your attention! Please consider ordering it on DVD to support the filmmakers. I have embedded the trailer beneath my review at the bottom of this page.

Miller’s Tale is a wholesome, honest and telling documentary on the intriguing (and some might argue tragic) life of playwright and actor Jason Miller.

The film is a sincere effort to convey the truth about a man who never forgot where he came from or the group of people he belonged to. Following acclaim for his leading role performance as Father Karras in The Exorcist and winning the coveted Pulitzer Prize for his play That Championship Season, Miller refused the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and instead returned home to Scranton, PA where he lived out the remainder of his days. Surrounded by much speculation as to what he could have become had he stayed in Hollywood, and what he became upon his return, Miller’s Tale is certainly one that deserved to be told.

I thank God director Rebecca Marshall had the courage to pick up this project and run with it. It’s with her (and her team) that the wholesomeness and integrity can be found. Had the story of Jason Miller landed in the hands of, say, E! True Hollywood Stories, the ‘Tale’ told might have been radically skewed. Thankfully, Rebecca is also a Scranton local and had the pleasure of meeting and even working with Miller at one stage, completing the picture and ensuring Miller’s Tale comes from a reliable, genuine source. It feels right at home.

There never has been, nor will there ever be, anything like this documentary. Anyone who is remotely interested in the trials and tribulations of a once-successful playwright who struggles with his position in this world; any fan of The Exorcist; or anyone interested in a well-crafted independent documentary, will benefit from what Miller’s Tale has to offer.

If you’re a Jason Miller fan, it’s practically sin if you haven’t seen it already.

Miller’s Tale comes loaded with intriguing insights from those who were close to the man himself. It pulls no punches, telling both sides of the story by allowing negatives and naysayers a fair voice as the town of Scranton determines how and where to place a memorial bust of Miller in his honor.

The Exorcist director William Friedkin speaks about Miller with a saddening passion that reminds us how wonderful he was as an actor, and what could have been had he chosen more successful roles.

Martin Sheen delves into his experiences on the film That Championship Season and how dedicated and professional Miller was in every aspect.

Family and friends, including Miller’s dear friend, actor/sculptor Paul Sorvino, open up about their love and admiration for Miller, and how they perceived his darker days of drinking and self reflection.

It’s exciting and absorbing to see extremely rare footage of Miller from many decades of archives, including some from Rebecca’s own footage. As fans of The Exorcist, we tend to crave rare footage of anything even remotely related the horror masterpiece, and in Miller’s Tale we find numerous nuggets of pure gold.

Is Miller’s Tale the greatest documentary ever made? No. But it knows what it is. It tells the unique story it has to tell and does it exceedingly well, not once trying to be anything more. There’s no pretending. There’s no faking. Miller’s Tale is as down to Earth and rugged as the man it documents. And folks, that’s a beautiful thing.

Like watching Jason play Father Karras to astounding perfection, or reading That Championship Season for the first time, you’ll never forget seeing Miller’s Tale.

You can pre-order your copy of Miller’s Tale on DVD here, including an exclusive offer for readers from captainhowdy.com (that’s you!!)

Please support this fantastic independent documentary by securing your copy of the DVD. Other donations are also appreciated.

About Jason Stringer

Former Webmaster of captainhowdy.com

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