KIDS FIRST! is thrilled to announce the DVD launch of The First of May. This movie was one of the first indie titles in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. Through KIDS FIRST! introductions, the wonderful indie film was picked and licensed this year.
Review By Buzz McClain — Video Business, 6/2/2008 Cast of legends led by Joe DiMaggio puts this family film over the top.
If there is a market for films grandparents can watch with their school-age grandchildren, this one from 1999 will be at the top of the chart. Despite a mind-bending drop-in by Joe DiMaggio as a baseball sage, The First of May starts off at a creaky pace. But gentle magic happens once the principals—young Dan Byrd as an 11-year-old foster-home runaway who befriends neglected senior citizen Julie Harris—get to the circus owned by Mickey Rooney (with Charles Nelson Reilly on hand as a clown). The overarching theme of family is inescapable but conveyed carefully. The title, by the way, refers to a circus rookie.
Shelf Talk: Compelling live-action family films without a single moment of questionable behavior are few and far between, but this one can be recommended with confidence. Legends Harris, Rooney, Reilly and the Yankee Clipper himself (in his last film appearance) will appeal to an underserviced age demographic, and Byrd recently ended a run in CW sitcom Aliens in America. The worthy 20-minute bonus “A Tribute to Joe DiMaggio” details how the baseball player became involved in the film and spent months learning his lines. Questar boosted May with a viral marketing campaign via YouTube and is developing retailer-specific promos.
Family drama, color, G (nothing offensive), 111 min., DVD $14.99
Extras: Joe DiMaggio tribute Director: Paul Sirmons
First Run: DVD premiere