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A Pale Young Gentleman (08/28/2007)

released: Aug 28, 2007

description: A roadster rumbles from a city street into a forested area and finally through fields of corn. The car stops, and Alistar and his wife Rebecca emerge at the mansion of Charles McAllister, Alistar's uncle. Charlie's manservant Bellweather shows them into his library, where Charlie waits. They express their sympathy at the news of his cancer, and he expresses his sympathy at the idea that Alistar will be taking over his estate once he dies. Alistar has a bookstore back in Cincinnati and does not care for the farm life, but as he is the only heir, there is no other choice.

Bellweather informs the cooks, Doris and Eugena, that the city guests are in the house, and they prepare dinner at a leisurely pace. Charlie, Alistar, and Rebecca share an awkward few courses while waiting for the main dish, during which it becomes apparent that Charlie and Rebecca do not care for each other. After dinner, Charlie and Alistar discuss the future of the estate out on the balcony, when screams erupt from Rebecca's room.

Bellweather and the cooks rush into the bedroom to find Rebecca on a chair, terrified. She says a man was in her room. Alistar rushes into the room as a pale young gentleman does indeed emerge from the shadows. He identifies himself as Jed Smith, but says the nuns at the orphanage informed him that his real name is Leopold McAllister.

Everyone gathers in the library, and Jed tells his story, which involves the tragic burning of the orphanage and the bicycle shop where he worked. Charlie, in turn, tells his story: he fell in love with a pretty stranger, but their love led to tragedy when she died in childbirth. Unable to bear the grief, he sent the child to an orphanage.

Alistar cannot believe the story, despite Jed having the eagle-shaped birthmark all McAllisters bear. He and Rebecca decide to investigate his story, starting at the bicycle shop. There they meet a nameless townie, who tells them the shop burned down under mysterious circumstances and that she and Jed have a connection. Before she can disclose anymore, Bellweather interrupts and shoos the couple away. They watch from the car, and see him threatening the girl.

Back at the estate, everything seems to be in order for Jed to take over, although Charlie delays signing the papers to make it official. Over dinner that night, Alistar accuses Jed of lying. Rebecca stays by her husband's side, and Charlie rails against them both. Suddenly, however, the kitchen fills with smoke. They discover the source in the basement, which is Bellweather's room. They further discover themselves to be trapped after Jed throws Charlie down the stairs with them and locks the door.

Bellweather admits that Jed is not Charlie's son; he is a man Bellweather blackmailed into playing the part after the manservant burned down his home and his livelihood. Bellweather did it all simply to keep his own home -- the McAllister estate. He realizes that Alistar will sell it and let all the staff go once it is his. The townie emerges from the smoke and advises the McAllisters that everyone can be lead their own lives by allowing the servants to run the estate while Alistar continues his life in Cincinnati. Charlie will not have it though -- he needs to right the wrongs that have been done.

Months later, Charlie has passed, but his name lives on in the Charlie McAllister Orphanage, Bicycle Shop, and Apartment Building, as run by Bellweather. Alistar and Rebecca head happily off in their roadster, back to their lives in Cincinnati.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
 
Alistar McAllister . . . Sean Kelley
Bellweather . . . Michael Johnson
Charlie McAllister . . . Rob White
Doctor . . . Sean Kelley
Doris . . . Mel Evans
Eugena . . . Amy Verdon
Jed Smith/Leopold McAllister . . . Jorin Garguilo
Manservant . . . Colleen Breen
McAllister Cousin #1 . . . Amy Verdon
McAllister Cousin #2 . . . Colleen Breen
McAllister Cousin #3 . . . Michael Johnson
Nun . . . Colleen Breen
Pretty Stranger . . . Kristen Studard
Rebecca McAllister . . . Kristen Studard
Townie . . . Mel Evans
Young Charlie . . . Jorin Garguilo

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