is another story going on here. Because of Geraldine, the family
has had to move into a new, sleazier neighborhood and a smaller
apartment. Brother Neil is having to start a new school and is trying
to make friends. His dream is to make it into the talent show (playing
a jazzy tune on the piano that his dad wrote) so that he can hang
with the drama club. Enter Courtney
Gains as Joe. Joe: "Hey dig this Piano Man" referring to Neil
"P.S. bad news. Wendy Wellington, the blond with two dozen
fingers, she's comin' up against you." Wow, this cat talks
the talk and walks the walk. It's especially exciting when Joe and
Geraldine meet for the first time.
Joe shows up at Neils home unexpectedly. We see him through the
door's peep hole wearing a Grocho mask smoking an imaginary cigar.
But the fun has only just begun. Neil invites his new friend into
his home, but before you know it Freakshow comes dashing around
the corner. She leaps onto Joe clinging to him with both arms and
legs laughing and screaming in her usual "stark raving mad"
way. There's a struggle, Neil wrestles her away and sends her to
her room. Courtney Gains (Joe) is left bewildered. He looks around,
then at the ground,
"What did she say? How do you unda'stand her?!?" Joe asks
the questions you and I aren't brave enough to ask.
was wondering what you could tell me about your role as "Joe"
in the after school special "Welcome Home Jellybean". How
old were you? What was Dana Hill like? What do you think of
that project? I'd love to hear anything that you remember
from that time. A big fan.
Talk about a blast from the past! I don't remember much, but
I remember it being a fun part to do. The cool thing about
getting cast was that I was the exact opposite of what they
think I was 18/19? Dana Hill was really great to work with
and know. I really liked the project. It ended up winning
some awards which was great. Take care!
is one final letter that I received that touched me more than any
Jellybeans are cool.
love this movie. It is very dear to my heart, because she
is just like my sister, Marni. My parents hospitalized her
for three years, but they couldn't afford it so they brought
her back home. And my parents have cried every day since.
HOME JELLYBEAN 1984
Hill, Deborah May (also appeared in Johny Be Good), Burke
Burnes, Christopher Collet, Courtney
Gains Director: Robert Mandel
me start by saying that the only reason that this movie isn't #1
is because it was made for TV. Don't panic! It can be viewed right here on YouTube! The pictures bad and the audio sucks (Isuggest using headphones) but it's the best copy you'll probably ever get to see on planet earth. It first aired on CBS in 1984 (American Playhouse
Theater) and it starred Dana
Hill (God rest her soul) in one of her first rolls ever.
is the story of Geraldine Oxley, a mentally handicapped 13 year
old who has spent her entire life in an institution (thanks
mom & dad). You are not going to see a politically
correct portrayal of the mentally handicapped Hollywood stereotype.
No. Dana utilizes her God given talents to imitate, mock and
make fun of retards and plays nothing short of a sideshow circus
movie begins with her family (mom, dad & older brother)
arguing about the decision they've made. They're taking
Dana... ahem, I mean Geraldine home.
There's a loud "Oh my God!" cry from mom and
we see Geraldine for the very first time. Let me tell
you, Dana gives it all she's got. The camera moves up
from her pigeon toed feet, past the gimpish arms to
her tongue chewing, drool smeared face with cowlicks
as far as the eye can see. Then, at the sight of her
family, she begins waving her arms in the air screaming
GOO, GA GOO, MISS MAA, MISS MAA, DOOGLE DOOGLE!" because
she is so happy to see her family again. It's a sight to behold
to say the least.
opening credits take place during the drive home. Geraldine
is bouncing in her seat the whole way. "MAMOO MAMOO! WALKY TALKY! WALKY TALKY! MAJRAPATARI,
NAJA NAJA!" She screams as they drive by a couple horseback
riders. Neil, her brother:"Mom, do you understand what
she's sayin'?" Mom:"I think she's saying that she's never seen
a horse before, ha ha."
Then after much bouncing and shouting Geraldine stops, stares
blankly and starts vomiting. Those crazy retards.
the next scene they're cleaning up the mess at a rest stop.
It is here that we become aware that dad isn't too "gung-ho"
about this whole thing. He pouts as he is wiping up puke with
an old rag. Is this going to be the story of a special little
girl bringing together a family as one or the twisted tale
of a family being divided by a retard? Oh you just wait.
their building, they enter the crowded elevator. Geri
sees her brother press the button by the door. "Monkey
see monkey do" Geri reaches out and presses more
buttons. Alarms sound and everyone starts to scream hysterically
like there's rotating knives in there with them. Just
one of the many entertaining "Jellybean" moments
that this flick has to offer.
dad and Neil
protect Geri from herself
the first night, Neil is awakened by a banging sound.
He gets up, grabs a bat and begins walking down the darkened
hallway. It's coming from Geri's room. He opens the door
stunned to see his little sister on all fours banging
her empty cranium on the headboard of her bed. "Geri stop it... CUT IT OUT!" Neil yells, quite
disturbed by this. It is later explained to him by mom, "Geri can't do things the way other kids can. Less
smarts doesn't mean less feelings. When she tries to talk
to us and we don't understand her, or especially when
people laugh at her, she gets hurt. Banging her head like
this is her way of dealing with it."
SOLUTION: Wrap her head in scarves.
next day starts as usual. Everyone is searching the house
for Neil's homework assignment that Geri has hidden somewhere. Neil:"OK, Geri! Enough! I'm late! Now where did
you put my report?" Geraldine shrugging her shoulders:"Ada da da
va da!" Oh yeah, she's retarded
becomes clear that Geri's behavior is beginning to wear
on Neil and his grades, but that's not all. She has also
been disrupting his piano lessons. As dad and son are
rehearsing the big talent show number, Gimpy climbs onto
the piano and starts to hump it. After being scolded she
walks to the center of the room, begins shaking her legs
and (hold on to your bootstraps) a steady stream of urine
runs down her ankle onto the floor. The camera pans up
to the twitching facial expression that you see here>>.
It's one of the greatest moments ever caught on film.
stress gets to be too much for ol' dad. He packs up and leaves,
visiting only with his son in a predetermined park facility.
The parks in this movie are over loaded with sport's fans.
As father and son are sitting at a picnic table, there are
several kids in the background each playing a different sport
(golf, baseball, soccer, football, jogging, etc...). It's
the busiest park you've ever seen!
Anyway, dad is not coming back and he wants Neil to leave
mom too. What a fine example of a father.
a scene in the lunchroom when the school's bully "Beef"
makes fun of Neil's sister,
"Are you a retardo like your sister?"
At this, Neil picks up a piece of pizza and smears it in Beef's
face. Then Joe yells out "FOOD FIGHT!" and the mayhem
It brought me back to those days when at any given moment
someone could yell out "FOOD FIGHT!" and everyone
would start hurling mashed potatoes at their classmates. Oh,
it is time for the big talent show. Neil is nervous as hell.
Hosting the night's event is our very own Joe (see side bar). Joe:"Hey, Hi, I'm Joe Newborn, I'm MC-ing the
show tonight. Welcome to the Franklin Follies!" Faceless
voice from crowd:"Hey Joe, how ya' doin'!" Joe:"Hey, how's it goin'!" Gosh Joe is
if you're lucky enough to have found an unedited copy of this
movie, it is here that you'll get to see a classic, 80s style
breakdancing number. Yeah folks, this is what Hip-hop used
it's time for Neil. Everything seems to be going all right...
until... freakshow comes tearing down the aisle headed straight
for Neil. "JELLYBEEM! JELLYBEEM! JELLYBEEM! JELLYBEEM! JELLYBEEM!
she screams. The crowd starts to mock her,
"Jellybean! Jellybean! Jellybean! Jellybean! " they
chant (for some reason even the adults take part in this mockery).
Mom drags her away kicking and screaming and Neil is left
night, Neil is kept up by Geri, futilely
pounding her scarf-wrapped noggin against the headboard. It's
more than he can bare. He packs up his things to go live with
his dad. But by the time dad arrives to pick him up, Neil
has changed his mind.
Unable to to convince dad to change his mind, Neil heads back
the elevator a neighbor stops him, Neighbor: "You know that sister of yours brought
my dog a little snack the other day. He loved every bite but
he isn't one for marshmallows. She's (Geraldine's) really
coming along." Neil: "Yeah she is...." long pause
"Welcome home Jellybean" he whispers "Welcome
not sure what the moral of this story is. Dad left the family
and Joe's talent show dreams got shot out of the sky. But
somehow, Geri having fed the neighbor dog marshmallows was
an appropriate ending for this director. And if it's enough
for him then I'll buy it too. Everyone's happy and Geri's
got her marshmallows (the delicacy of retardos).