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A tragi-comic troll story
sonnyschlaegel9 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It's 1932. Jonathan Quick is twelve years old. His parents want him to become an MD and tell him to read books about surgery. But Jonathan prefers listening to stories on the radio and reading comic books. So when a troll appears and tells him he should stay a dreamer because there are more than enough MDs already, he gladly takes his advice. The troll also tells him not to throw away the things he likes because they will make him richer than any MD, lawyer or businessman. And he tells him to get a fancy car. Six years later, Jonathan is working hard. His parents think he wants to save money for college, but he spends it on a fancy car. Once he has it, he stops working. After a while his parents get so fed up with his laziness that they throw him out. 1955: Jonathan lives in a shack in the desert. The troll appears again. Jonathan tells him it is his (the troll's) fault that he doesn't have any friends or family and that he hasn't become as rich as the troll had promised. But the troll says that he got what he wanted: he didn't want to work. And he says that 'rich' is a relative term.

Much later (probably about 1985): Jonathan wants to end his life by taking a plunge from the Hoover Dam with his car. Or is there still a chance that the troll will make good his promises?

It's a tragi-comic story. David Rappaport is funny as the troll, and it's great to see Mark Hamill play a different role; I think I have never seen him before in any other role than as Luke Skywalker. I liked the black humour: when they are tearing down Jonathan's shack, the song 'Young at Heart' is played on the soundtrack. And the name of the garage where he wants to refuel for his jump from the Hoover Dam is 'Last Chance Garage', and while he is there, a radio announcer can be heard who asks motorists to drive carefully in order to arrive safe. But there were some points that I didn't like very much: I think tragedy and comedy are mixed a little too wildly; Jonathan wastes all (or nearly all) of his life, but then there's some great reward (you can probably guess what it is) for that in the end? Hm. And I think they should have shown more of Jonathan's life between 1938 and 1985. What's he doing all the time? If he's doing nothing except sitting around dreaming, having no friends at all, being unhappy - then why doesn't he (try to) end his life much earlier?

But it's probably meant to be just a funny story, not a serious story that needs to be completely conclusive or to convey a moral. I liked it, but some of the other episodes in this series are better in my opinion.
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Bad Advice From A Troll
ccthemovieman-13 September 2007
A hairy little troll (looks and sounds like a leprechaun with the Irish accent) gives a young boy ("Jono") some bad advice....and advice you often hear in the movies: listen to your heart. No, that is bad advice because the heart is deceitful. Anyway, he tells the kid to forget about studying to be a doctor and that hard work is not a virtue. "There's doctors aplenty is this world," he says, What we could truly do with is a few more dreamers."

Wow, there's sound advice. He claims several times "I am Mother Nature's only son." Actually, writer-director-producer Steven Spielberg, who was responsible for this TV series, actually believes that nonsense (except I would guess he worked pretty hard to get to where he is).

We switch from 1932 to 1938 and now it's Mark Hamill of "Star Wars" fame playing Jono. He winds up spending all his hard-earned money on car. His dad is a little peeved, to say the least, and boots him out of the house.

Years go by and our boys is now a white-bearded almost-homeless bum, a man who has barely survived to ready to kill himself by driving his car - if he can get gas money - over the Hoover Dam.

The story has a happy ending, of course, but a message that doesn't lead to a happy life. (They don't detail the man's 50 years of poverty with no family and friends). An interesting story, nonetheless with a guest appearance by an "unknown" at the time: Forest Whitaker!
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I liked this when I saw it, but... SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
medievalmike27 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this when it first aired, and really liked it at the time. Later, I realized that the man wastes fifty years of his life just for the sake of being rich at the end of it. At the end, when his stuff is being auctioned off, he finds the Troll at the back of the room and offers to buy him a drink. A much younger woman, apparently unable to see the Troll, thinks he is talking to her. After the two leave together, the last shot shows the Troll bidding. The auctioneer can see him from across the room. Why is he bidding if he could have presumably gotten anything from Jonathan's stash for free for 50 years? If he's had cash this whole time, why didn't he share any of it with Jonathan?
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A sentimental tale of value and memories proving that collections and items bring happy moments!
blanbrn25 March 2017
This "Amazing Stories" episode from season one called "Gather Ye Acorns" is one entertaining and sentimental one that proves it's okay to get attached to material things and be a collector. The episode kind of reminds a little bit of me as I'm a collector of comic books, toys, movies, and other items as I like the value and memories they bring! Starring Mark Hamill("Luke Skywalker" from "Star Wars")as a young boy who's a dreamer growing up in the 1930's who's life is listening to his favorite series on the radio and reading comic books, yet his tough loving mom and dad want him to study medicine and become a doctor which will take a lot of work.

Now enter the appearance of a troll one day and he tells the Hamill character to take the route he's on by being a collector and never throw anything away as material possessions are most important! This doesn't sit well with mom and dad and soon the Mark character is a pack rat and he's off to live with it like a moving junkyard, and doubt starts to set in is this life of worth and value? Then enter some people who notice his items of value as now his collection of comic books, toys, and antiques sell for big money, proving that these treasures bring more than sentimental and memory value as they are worth a fortune! It proves that junk is someone else's treasure! Overall good sentimental tale that proves being a collector pays off in the end not only memory and sentimental wise, but value wise as the old items are worth a fortune!
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Kids: Don't do this!!
humancomedy18 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As I recall, there was talk at the time that this episode suffered because it was originally written as an hour episode, and then the story had to be compressed to a half hour.

Whether "more" of this would have helped is questionable. As the others have stated, the basic concept of this episode is flawed. A man devotes his life to being a pack-rat collector and in the end his "junk" is worth millions. It's a comic collector fantasy.

If it had been the story of a kid who took a lot of crap about his comics--but in the meantime led a full life as a doctor instead of skipping medical school, it might have been worthwhile. Perhaps the comics installed a sense of wonder that helped him relate to young patients, and one of them was the son of a childhood tormentor. Now there's a story of the value of comics.

But in this episode the character is told to throw his life away. That "dreaming" is better than "doing." Sure, the world needs dreamers, but their dreams must finally amount to something!

Even worse is when the story plugs in to the sad thinking that the value of comics is defined by their market value. His other collectibles: the car, the coffee mug, are not so much presented as objects of beauty but as surprise investments that finance an unexpected late-in-life payday.

In the end, the Dreamer becomes richer than he would have been as a Doctor? He's better off being a rich old man than someone who spent a lifetime helping others? That's the moral of the story?

That's some dream.

It seems like the message of this story wasn't really thought out before they made it. I hope there's isn't a collector out there who saw this as a kid, took it as wisdom and based his life on this. That would be sad, indeed.
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Trolling for Trouble
Hitchcoc23 May 2014
Marc Hamill (Luke Skywalker) disappoints his parent. They have high expectations for him and for a while he does a good job. Then he takes his savings and buys a fancy car. From there on, it is downhill. He loses his family, He loses any ambition he did have. He becomes a sort of hermit with long white hair. All this comes about because one day while lying in his front yard, he is approached by what I guess is a troll and talked into being a dreamer rather than a doer. That's about it. Life passes him by. The one word of advice that he gets is not to let his mother throw away anything that he loves from his room. This is a slipshod, formula with a deus ex machina ending. I guess for some it is entertaining. For me, it is silly and to pat to really grab one's emotions. The message is that most of the world and its rules are worthless. Don't work. Don't contribute. And everything will work out.
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MartinHafer23 June 2015
This is an okay episode of "Amazing Stories"--more of interest for who's in it than the subject matter itself.

Mark Hamill stars as Jonathan, a real dreamer. When he is little, a tree troll (David Rappaport) comes to him and encourages him NOT to listen to his parents about going to medical school but to be lazy and collect trinkets. The boy does so and eventually grows into someone his parents cannot stand and his life sucks. Eventually, however, there is a happy ending--though you also wonder if he'd really have been much happier if he hadn't listened to the little twerp.

The episode is unusual but its moral vague and confusing. But seeing Hamill, Royal Dano and a young Forest Whitaker make it of some interest.

By the way, only a few years after this show, Rappaport committed suicide. A sad end for this ubiquitous actor from the 80s.
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Horrible advice and wasted life.
jeffery201013 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely HATED this episode! I will give away the ending to this episode to explain why it is so remarkably horrible. Mark Hamill's character as a young boy is given advice by a cross between a leprechaun and a teddy bear. He is told to not worry about hard work or school but to hold on to his dreams (or some such) and he will be richer than any lawyer or doctor. So he buy's toys and a sports car and joins the circus (I think) and basically makes no long range plans or relationships while all the time the magical creature shows up to remind him to hold on to his childhood stuff and he'll be better off than any Lawyer or doctor. By the end of the show he is old, broke, friendless, homeless(?) and trying to beg for enough money to gas up his car to commit suicide with it. But a Wealthy lady notices some collector's piece in his collection of junk and offers him $10,000 for it. Cut to him now wealthy with bimbos on his arm in his mansion; I presume from selling all his childhood collectables. THIS WAS THE MESSAGE?! Not that he would be happier with a child like sense of wonder, but would get lots of money selling his old toys! Forget the homeless, friendless, moneyless state his life must have been for the last 40(?) years! And as a side note. I bet a lot of Doctors and Lawyers were a lot better off than him – and happier. What a completely shallow and stupid script. I would also guess some psychologist could make a case for analyzing Spielberg from this as I believe he came up with the idea for the episode.
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