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Saving Shiloh

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Original title
Saving Shiloh
United States United States
Novel: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
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Synopsis / Plot
Based on Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s book by the same name, Saving Shiloh, draws the story of Marty, Shiloh, and Judd to a satisfying conclusion that successfully brings the story full circle.

Using a local mystery surrounding a murder and a string of robberies as its driving force, Saving Shiloh spends a good deal of time exploring the characters of Marty and Judd and the attempt by Marty to help Judd mend his past errors and attitude. While the surface plot of the mystery adds a nice dose of suspense to the overall script, the real backbone of the plot is the relationship between Marty and Judd.

As a continuation of the previous films, this most recent addition to the Shiloh story brings that relationship to the forefront and skillfully illustrates how it has changed over the events of the entire trilogy. For example, while the previous film ended on a positive note with Judd finally seeming to come to terms with his bad behavior and making an effort to change it, this script picks up with the town’s reaction to his change of heart. The audience learns that while a leopard may try to change its spots, the hunters will still go in for a kill. By putting the emphasis on Marty’s efforts to help Judd, the movie highlights the change that has occurred in both characters, acknowledging that the relationship is still strained at times, but that both are trying to move beyond their differences. It’s a strong emotional backbone for the story.

The inclusion of the mystery is a nice driving force for not only the surface story, but also as a means of highlighting the town’s attitude towards Judd. While providing an adventure for Marty and Shiloh, it works to set the stage for Judd’s redemption. Only after being so ridiculed by the townspeople could he make such a complete recovery from the gossip that surrounded him and even make amends to Shiloh, the one most hurt by his abuses.

Saving Shiloh is a strong conclusion to the story begun in the original Shiloh film. It teaches a lesson of not only perseverance and honesty, but failings and redemptions and the power of love.
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