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For the Third of Secondhand Lions

by FAIR on 19th September 2006

Today is a day that has been mentioned a great deal of late, and it is really quite easy to understand why. This day, unlike most other days, is quite significant for one very important reason... today we get to celebrate the third anniversary since the release of that wonderful Haley Film, "Secondhand Lions". It was three whole years ago today, 19-September-2003, since we were last able to appreciate, admire, and wonder at a new character brought so realistically to life by Haley. Three whole years... and although not quite as long as the fourty whole years talked about in the film, I must admit that at times it certainly has felt just the same since we last saw Haley on the silver screen. More than anything else on this day, I think that is what will stand out the most for me, and why this day is so significant.

As we have reluctantly come to understand that it is not every day, or even every year, in which we get to experience some new Haley project or venture, and a new Haley Film stands out above all others. Although we are on cusp of the release of "Home of the Giants", the long awaited next film currently being polished and completed to the expected level of perfection, the third anniversary of "Secondhand Lions" remains as Haley's most recent film. But what a film it was, and just like all previous Haley Films, this one was as fulfilling and satisfying as any other.

What makes a Haley Film so special and so unique, is the character that Haley plays and brings to life on screen. Over the course of his brief but stellar career, his characters have been some of the most endearing and memorable, and he has given some of the most breathtaking performances to have ever been captured on film. His character in "Secondhand Lions" represented the next significant step in the evolution of his career. As time marches ever forward, so too must Haley's career, and in this particular film he continued his graceful transition into the world of adult actors. Leaving my own appreciative words aside for a change, I think Erick Harper captured some of the essence of that transition in his review of the "Secondhand Lions" DVD for


"Haley Joel Osment has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past few years, from the almost eerily precocious child star of The Sixth Sense to a quite affable and self-confident young actor. Not only is he more talented than anyone else his age, he has made the transition from child to young adult with far more grace and far less awkwardness than anyone I ever knew at that age. Of course, every young actor should be so lucky as to have a movie like Secondhand Lions come along right when he is at that stage in life. Walter's transition from weenie boy to promising young man captures exactly the same sort of change in Osment. Director Tim McCanlies capitalized on Osment's coming of age by shooting the film in sequence over the course of a long Texas summer, capturing the changes in the actor and incorporating them into the story of Walter. Osment just gets better and better as his career progresses, and at times when watching him I get the sense that he is channeling Jimmy Stewart; he has the same sort of intelligence and kind, good nature that Stewart showed in his younger, pre-WWII roles."

Since we are talking about the essence of that transition, then we might as well mention a few words about the essence of Haley's role in the film itself. Again, leaving my own words aside, I think Ed Peters captured some of the essence of Walter's role in this film in his review for


"But the film’s emotional center is Osment’s Walter. He is the audience surrogate and his transformation from a frightened, cynical child to a hopeful, imaginative young man echoes the classic children’s storybook hero, embodied in such watershed live-action children’s movies as The Yearling and The Black Stallion."

Echoes the classic storybook hero... with intelligence and a kind, good nature like a young Jimmy Stewart... these are just some of the everlasting impressions Haley makes with each of his unique characters, and such praise is what makes watching "Secondhand Lions" so endearing. What made Haley's performance all the more astounding, and why it must be held in such high regard, is that he accomplished all this while acting opposite two iconic film legends. It would seem the lessons Haley learned in his first full feature film, "Bogus", about commanding the same focus and screen presence when playing opposite the gentle giant Gerard Depardieu, he would use those same techniques opposite both Michael Caine and Robert Duvall... as stated above, "Osment just gets better and better as his career progresses..."

The next step in that progression will be the much anticipated release of "Home of the Giants". Whether or not that step is a giant leap, or just a small step forward remains to be seen, but we can be sure it will most certainly be a step in the right direction. As we look at the progression of characters Haley has played in each of his previous films... from Albert to Cole to Trevor to Romek to David to Walter and next up is Robert... we can see that one of the hallmarks of his career is each character is unique all on their own. Since each character is unique, then that must mean each film is quite distinct as well, and "Secondhand Lions" remains as distinctive a film as Haley has ever made.

As much as I loved "Secondhand Lions" when it was first released, in the three years since, it has come to mean so much more to me. I have quite literally lost track of the number of times I have watched this film, and still each viewing is like a warm embrace that you feel deep in your heart. I suppose I say that about every Haley Film, but there can be no doubt this film stands just as tall as any of his previous work. In the three years since, I think it is safe to say that "Secondhand Lions" will forever remain first in all our hearts. Thanks Haley for such a warm and wonderful film, and a true reflection of your warm and wonderful self... you are the best.



These articles are gathered here from all over as a resource for serious fans and theatre students interested in Secondhand Lions and the filmography of Haley Joel Osment , Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and director Tim McCanlies. All articles have been credited to the original authors and have been linked back to the original website in which the articles were published. The webmaster of this site does NOT benefit or profit in any way from hosting these articles, and if we have inadvertantly breached any copyright, we apologise in advance and will remove the article as soon as we are informed of the copyright breach. We do ask for your understanding as this is purely a fansite built for the benefit for other fans and serious film students. Thank you.

The webmaster


The Real Animals in 'Lions'
First Hand Look at 'Secondhand'
Haley Joel Grows Up
Secondhand Lions Production Notes
Second Hand Lions and Teen Life
Everything changes for Sixth Sense Star
Boy Meets World : Can Haley Joel Osment survive the child actor syndrome ?
Duvall, Caine take pride in their new film
Michael Caine on Secondhand Lions
Secondtime Director
Haley Joel Osment on Secondhand Lions
Interview : Haley Joel Osment
Interview : Haley Joel Osment of "Secondhand Lions"
Haley Joel Osment : Growth Spurt
Haley's Comments
Is Haley the next teen idol ?
Osment grows into his roles
Haley Joel Osment grows up
Review : Actors put roar in Secondhand Lions
'Lions' star is a cub no more
What A Boy Needs
McCanlies, Texas: Pop. 1
Secondhand Lions : The Austin Chronicle Review
Actor Osment sees Yale People
Top Actors Discuss The Importance Of Family
Haley Joel Osment is growing up onscreen
Iron Lion : An interview with Tim McCanlies
The Kid Stays in Pictures
Young Lion : At 15 , Haley Joel Osment holds his own
Secondhand Lions : capsule reviews in UK media
60 Second Interview with Haley Joel Osment
Digital Kitchen Delivers 'Secondhand Lions' Titles
Review : 'Secondhand Lions' Roars
SECONDHAND LIONS’ long decade’s journey to the screen
Uncle Orson Reviews Everything
Secondhand Lions movie review
The Kid Grows Up
Haley Joel Osment of Secondhand Lions
Tim McCanlies of Secondhand Lions : an interview
Lions Share
An Interview with Tim McCanlies
Secondhand Lions Second
Secondhand Lions Set for Broadway Bow
Now Presenting Secondhand Lions: The Musical
For the Third of Secondhand Lions
Secondhand Lions Fourth

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