Secondhand Lions Secondhand Lions
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Film Date :   September 18, 2003
Genre :   Family Drama Comedy   
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Secondhand Lions

Secondhand Lionsis a 2003 American dramedy film written and directed by Tim McCanlies . It tells the story of an introverted young boy ( Haley Joel Osment ) who is sent to live with his eccentric uncles ( Robert Duvall and Michael Caine ) on a farm in the U.S. state of Texas .

In the summer of 1962, 12-year old Walter Caldwell ( Haley Joel Osment ) is taken by his fortune-hunting mother, Mae ( Kyra Sedgwick ), to live with his bachelor great-uncles, who are rumored to have a secret fortune. When they first arrive, they are greeted by the uncles' pets, a dog pack , (a French Bulldog , a Bloodhound , a Dachshund , a Portuguese Podengo and a mutt ) and the pig , Hub and Garth McCann ( Robert Duvall , Michael Caine respectively) are knee-deep in their pond, shooting at bass with shotguns . Upon Walter's arrival, neither they nor Walter are initially pleased to see the other.

Walter's cousins, also strong believers in the fortune, arrive a day after his mother leaves to ingratiate themselves into the good graces of Hub and Garth. They do not take kindly to Walter's company and soon scare him away at the proposal of putting him into foster care , and he runs away to telephone the court reporting school where his mother had claimed to have gone. He discovers that she is not actually enrolled at the school, but has lied yet again. As Hub and Garth find him, and hoping to drive away their pesky cousins, the Uncles offer Walter to come live with them again, trying to warm up to him. With no recourse, Walter returns with them.

Soon Hub, Garth, and Walter have adventures of their own. Hub and Garth frighten off Walter's cousins and purchase a clay pigeon thrower , a succession of ever-larger boats, and a biplane with their wealth. They order an aging lioness from a circus animal dealer. Walter adopts and names the lioness Jasmine (a name with deep significance to Hub, as Garth reveals to his great-nephew), thereby keeping Hub from killing her. Hub gets into a fight with several greasers , wins the fight, drives them back to the farm, then feeds them and gives them a lecture on what it means to be a real man. While encouraging them to eat vegetables and stop shooting at visiting salesmen, Walter eventually becomes used to their quirky, socially atypical mannerisms and they become used to him and his shyness.

Throughout the film after Walter discovers that Hub sleepwalks, Garth tells Walter the stories about their mysterious past: Garth reveals to him that he and Hub were adventurers beginning in World War I . Hub and Garth arrive in France the day Germany invaded the country. Garth believes they should return home, but Hub proposes that they tour Europe just ahead of the invading armies. On their last night in France, they find themselves shanghaied on a ship and are conscripted into the French Foreign Legion . The two brothers fight in many battles and following their army service, Garth becomes a guide in Africa , while Hub travels the world and helps anybody in need of it. During these travels, Hub meets and falls in love with Jasmine ( Emmanuelle Vaugier ), a beautiful young princess. She, however, has been promised to be the wife of a young and powerful Sheik . After Hub rescues Jasmine from the Sheik, a bounty of ten thousand gold pieces is put on Hub's head, causing the two to have a rough living condition, always on the run from assassins who want the prize. When Garth, disguised as a bounty hunter turns Hub in for the reward as a set-up, Hub duels the Sheik and wins but spares the Sheik's life. As this earns the Sheik's respect, the assassination attempts end, and eventually, the Sheik makes a fortune in a petroleum trade. Ultimately, Garth leaves Walter to hear the rest of the story from Hub, as he himself is fed up with constantly telling the stories and secretly, hopes for Walter and Hub to connect to each other.

While Hub is looking out over the pond at night while sleepwalking, Walter awakens him and asks him about what happened to Jasmine. Hub tells Walter that Jasmine and her child (who would've been Mae's cousin, hence Walter's cousin-once-removed) died in childbirth. After their deaths, Hub went back into the service, the only other life he knew. During their moonlight talk, Walter tells Hub that he and Garth need him, and that Hub has to stick around long enough to give him his "What Every Boy Needs To Know About Being a Man" speech. He says that Hub needs to take care of himself because, even though he misses Jasmine, Walter and Garth would miss him just as much if he were to die. Ultimately, a reluctant Hub tells Walter that he'll live long enough to be his "damn uncle", but asks Walter not to expect him to be happy about it. From then on, Walter and his uncles live a happier life than previously before. Subsequently, Walter finds his uncles' wealth in a room beneath their barn.

Eventually, Walter's mother and her current suitor, an "Investigator" named Stan ( Nicky Katt ), arrive at the farm and demand to know where the money is. Stan tries to make Walter believe that Hub and Garth were actually bank robbers , that Jasmine was their accomplice, and the fortune is theirs for the taking. Walter does not believe him and decides he will believe in the tales of his uncles, and thus an incensed, greed-driven Stan repeatedly hits Walter. Jasmine (the lioness) attacks Stan and seriously wounds him, but the lioness dies when her heart gives out from old age. At the same time, Hub and Garth run outside, having heard Jasmine's roars and find them. Hub taunts Stan by telling him that he's lucky Jasmine attacked him and before they could. The next day, Walter is taken away by his mother, but after she informs him that she has no intention of leaving Stan, he jumps out of the car. In an emotional argument, Walter asks her to "do something for me for once", and she lets him return to live with his uncles.

In the film's epilogue, which takes place several years later, Walter ( Josh Lucas ), is now a successful cartoonist whose comic strip ("Walt and Jasmine") is based on his experiences with his uncles. He receives a phone call one day and learns that his uncles have died. Walt returns to the farm to see that they died when they attempted to fly their biplane upside down into their barn The sheriff hands their will to Walter and as he reads it ("The kid gets it all. Just plant us in the damn garden with the stupid lion"), laughs to himself about his uncles' unique approach to life and on his happy reminisces of his time spent with them. A helicopter touches down and a North African man ( Eric Balfour ) steps out with his little son accompanying him. He explains that, while in Texas tending to his oil interests, they heard of the men's deaths on the news and thought those two might be the two courageous Americans whose tales his grandfather, (the Sheik), would tell him about when he was a little boy. When Walt affirms it and tells the shiek's grandson that the pair raised him, the three are happy to realize that the stories which had inspired them for so long were true — that the two men "really lived."

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