I recently saw the kids' movie How to Eat Fried Worms. It was a delightful, down-to-earth, and purely kid-centered underdog/boy dynamics movie. Really sweet. Anything the kids laughed at we laughed at, and vice versa. Few if any modern-day pop culture references and obvious traces of cross-marketing campaigns. Beyonce did not promote her new single, and the kids did not open their refridgerator doors to shelves full of Pepsi. Even that annoying little girl from the old Pepsi ads didn't get under my skin. I'm growing up and getting old, sure, but this movie struck me as about as sweet and pure as kids' movies gets these days.
During the movie, which featured a lot of bully-new kid showdowns leading to...well, I won't spoil anything, I started thinking about one of my favorite bully-new kid-underdog-boy dynamics movies, My Bodyguard, the 1980 film that introduced me to Matt Dillon, for whom I've always had an added attachment because he reminds me of my brother (although not his characters' lifestyle in certain movies). If you've somehow never seen this movie or you haven't seen it in 25 years and you now have kids ready to try "old" movies, I heartily recommend you Netflix this baby. While you watch it, see if you're not drawn into the character of Carson, the little squirt friend of Clifford (Chris Makepeace), played by Paul Quandt. This Quandt kid hits just the right, downbeat, downtrodden, all-knowing note. The great Roger Ebert singled out his performance, saying, "there's another kid, the solemn-faced, wide-eyed Paul Quandt, who steals a couple of scenes with his absolute certainty that the worst is yet to come." Now, check out the link to this review, and see if notice the one thing missing from Paul Quandt's name relative to the names of his costars.
OK, did you get it yet? If not, click on that first, imdb.com link I gave you when I introduced Quandt into this discussion. I'll give it to you here, again. Look at that filmography! Talk about your 1-hit wonders. I've searched high and low on the Web for an update on this guy, and I've found NOTHING of substance beside those mad props from Ebert. It's an endless loop of that sole, barren filmography entry. I've discussed it with people in the know, people in the industry, and they have no idea what happened to this kid. Where are the "Where are they now stories" on the guy? Is he living, is he dead? Did the worst indeed come? I hope not, Paul. Take care!