Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
A horrible-looking stranger proves yet again that looks can be deceiving in this family-oriented fable. The story is set during the Depression in the town of Castlegate. The young Bonnie secretly dreams of becoming a singer. Suddenly a stranger moves into a nearby abandoned mansion on a hill; immediately he earns the distrust of the town by evicting everyone who lives on the surrounding rental properties. Among the tenants are Bonnie and her widowed mother who pleads with the stranger to let them stay--the volatile newcomer allows this, but only on the condition that Bonnie come to work for him as his servant. Ribaldi, her new employer, has a dreadfully disfigured face and a most unpleasant demeanor, but despite his gruff exterior, Ribaldi has a love of fine singing voices and so offers to teach Bonnie all he knows. Back in town, the citizens grow more suspicious when all of the bankrupt farms in the area begin to be purchased by a mystery man. Meanwhile, the town's sick children begin to miraculously recover, and the poor residents suddenly find themselves receiving badly needed money for medical and other expenses. They never suspect that the money is coming from Ribaldi, and they continue to reject him on the basis of his face and outward personality. Only Bonnie and the other children know the real truth.
beauty-and-the-beast, disfigurement, philanthropy, songwriter, stranger