The Saint Of Fort Washington

Some colleagues trashed this powerful look at friendship among the New York homeless(1993)directed by Tim Hunter from a script by Lyle Kessler and starring Danny Glover and Matt Dillonsimply because of its subject matter; apparently, contemporary man-made tragedies are inappropriate topics for the big screen, unlike ghosts, dinosaurs, mythical serial killers, and former holocausts. But this movie gives you glimpses of the Fort Washington Armory (sheltering 700 people nightly) that recall the famous shot of the Confederate wounded in Gone With the Wind in its epic grandeur; and it tells you things about New York’s potter’s field that easily might have found their way into Pickup on South Street. This may occasionally err on the side of Dickensian sentiment, but it has so much to say about the world we live in, and says it with such grace, wit, and raw feeling, that I recommend it without qualification. With Rick Aviles, Ving Rhames, and Nina Siemaszko. R, 108 min. (JR)

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