Will’s dad (William Windom) has a dangerous case of emphysema, and Will’s mom (Julie Adams) may be having an affair. Given these complications, Goodbye, Franklin High occasionally threatens to become a real movie instead of a trifle. That it never makes this leap is attributable equally to the shortcomings of Krieger, MacFarland, and leading man Lane Caudell. Giving a performance as deep as a Donny Osmond song, Caudell tries to express big-time anguish but never seems more upset than a kid whose ice-cream cone just fell on the ground. Caudell’s youthful costars—Darby Hinton, as Will’s buddy, and Ann Dusenberry, as Will’s girlfriend—render equally bland work, though one gets the sense this production lacked the resources for multiple takes. Screen veterans Adams and Windom achieve something closer to credibility, especially during a sequence in which the protagonist’s family addresses the rumored infidelity of Adams’s character.
Goodbye, Franklin High: FUNKY