Best Boy/Best Man
Twenty years after making Best Boy, Ira Wohl looked in again on his cousin Philly, now over 70 but still as sunny and fond of dessert as ever. Living in a home with other developmentally disabled people, Philly appears even more capable and content in the world. Wohl gets the idea to prepare Philly for his bar mitzvah--a little late in life, but nonetheless an important experience. Best Man doesn't have the deep emotional pull provided by Philly's parents from the first movie, although his loyal sister becomes an important figure in this one. But it's a very nice update on a memorable corner of the world. --Robert Horton
- Two films: Best Boy (1979) and Best Man (1998)
- Filmmaker biography
Top Customer Reviews
The answer to another reviewer's question is that the song Philly sings in "Best Boy" over the credits and with the psychiatrist is the Anniversary Waltzs (Oh, how we danced, on the night, we were wed...)
A wonderful film for anyone intersted in family, disability or Judaisim.
Filmmaker Ira Wohl tracks on film Philly's life over roughly three and one-half years as he moves from being totally sheltered from the outside world, living life in his parents' home and only going out with his parents to the point where Philly goes to a day program for persons who are developmentally challenged--and then to the point where he finally moves into a nearby home for people just like himself. What is wonderful to watch is just how happily Philly adjusts to his new life; he soon becomes restless and bored when he can't get to the day program because of a heavy snowstorm; and he goes to a summer camp away from home--voluntarily--for the very first time living away from his parents even if it is only for three weeks. Philly quickly comes to love every bit of change that he experiences; his lust for life is striking even as his parents Max and Pearl (especially Pearl) yearn for their son to come back home full time again.Read more ›
One burning subject matter that emerges from this documentary is the continuing questions which haunt parents, family members and caretakers of those with significant disability- what will happen to the disabled person after the caretakers are too old to care for their loved one- and ultimately, how does the disabled person maneuver through the world at large when their families, loved ones, and siblings are deceased, what will their lives look like. Not every disabled person has the loving and patient family that Philly has/had, but his situation was/is not unique.
When the first part of this documentary was made, a different set of social and medical standards were in place, and folks like Philly were typically institutionalized for life. Parents were told that it would be `best' for all involved to warehouse their disabled children, and that was the accepted logic that was followed decades ago. It was not for lack of love that parents relinquished their children to institutions, but out of love, listening to the `experts', resolved that there appeared oftimes to be no other choices.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are studying film making and are interested in making documentaries, this is a MUST see! This video documents the maturing of a mentally challenged man from his parents... Read morePublished on March 24, 2013 by Jonathan A. Cermin
These are perhaps the best movies I have ever seen. They just puts such a human light to how a family copes with and is blessed by an impaired member. Read morePublished on December 15, 2009 by Sue
20 years after his oscar-winning movie about his retarded cousin philly, director ira wohl re-visits his subject, now approaching 70 and doing quite well, thank you. Read morePublished on April 21, 2007 by Jonathan Lapin
It is rare that I am able to find movies or doumentaries on individuals with mental retardation/intellectual disability. Read morePublished on February 24, 2007 by Jane Harris
"Best Boy" is an award-winning documentary about Philly Wohl, a mentally disabled man. It was filmed by his cousin Ira Wohl. Read morePublished on September 9, 2005 by txrose
I actually haven't seen the movie, but want to.
It looks like a very good movie to educate people on supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. Read more