AMC’s Michael E. Knight Reviewed in Rounding First


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Not exactly the Tad we know and love, Knight takes on hard-edged role.

 

 hspace=10 xsrc=Soapdom was invited to a private screening of the independent film, Rounding First, in which All My Children’s Michael E. Knight (Tad) has a starring role.  So, how did Pine Valley’s resident “cad turned dad” fair in a totally different venue? Read on…

 

Every once in a while soap stars get the chance to break out and try something just a little different.  All My Children’s Michael E. Knight gets that opportunity, in spades, as John Koerner in Rounding First, writer/director, Jim Fleigner’s, first feature film.  Three boys, all 12 years of age, are facing their last summer of childhood.  A true road movie, the boys travel from Allentown to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in search of a secret that will change all of their lives.  That sounds like an old Hollywood promo line, but the Pandora’s Box these boys open really turns them from boys, if not to men, then young men.

If fans of Tad the Cad are expecting a handsome, sweet-talking, lover boy, forget it. Knight, the father of Soren Fulton, the film’s young talented star, is a man living with an internal pain, one that both he and his wife dare not speak.  Their son Joe’s only fear – his parents are getting a divorce.  It makes complete sense to a 12-year old boy in the summer of 1980. 

Knight’s anguish and despair over the secrets he’s hiding are written all over his face.  It’s the silences that make his performance such a stand out in this cast that features three young gifted actors on the road to self-discovery. As much as he loves his son, that’s how much he wants to protect him.  And, that puts a disturbing distance between the boy and his father, as well between the husband and wife, who are co-conspirators in this uneasy alliance.

Even though Knight’s scenes are few and far between, his performance casts a long shadow over his son.  Terrified of what’s to come the young boy hides in the bathroom, crying, as he listens to his parents argue, yet, one more time – about him and his best friend.  The camera never leaves the little boy, pulling back, helping the audience understand his alienation and vulnerability.  

Knight is a man torn by the past and very much frightened of the future he wants to keep from his son.  The strain on his marriage and his family is destroying them.  Pine Valley’s resident heartthrob digs deep and demonstrates a range of emotions he rarely gets to tap into on All My Children.  Movies require a different sort of acting. Knight’s controlled and taut performance reveals a whole other side of this talented actor’s game.

Filmed entirely on location in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Rounding First, doesn’t look like most Hollywood films.  It captures the time and place beautifully and the musical soundtrack is lush and provocative. A small independent film very loosely based on the writer/director’s, own childhood, Rounding First, a family movie, should take you all the way home.

To read more about Rounding First, go to imdb.com and roundingfirstmovie.com.

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