John Knowles's celebrated allegorical novel has been given a new screen interpretation in this made-for-cable adaptation. Gene (J. Barton) and Finny (Toby Moore) are two students at an upscale prep school during World War II; like their fellow classmates, Gene and Finny are trying to complete their schoolwork before they're drafted and sent overseas. Gene is bright but introspective, while Finny is outgoing and athletic but not a distinguished scholar. Gene and Finny strike up a friendship, and Gene finds that Finny's charm and charisma begins to rub off on him. However, Gene also finds that his more active social life is putting damper on his schoolwork, and his fondness for Finny fades into a distrust and resentment, as he begins to believe that the poorer student wants to bring him down to his intellectual level. The rift between Gene and Finny continues to grow until it manifests itself in a shocking act that will change them both forever. Also featuring Hume Cronyn (who gave his final screen appearance as the Headmaster), A Separate Peace was produced for the Showtime premium cable network, where it first aired in the fall of 2004; an earlier theatrical film version was released in 1972. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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