Fourth volume of the saga that began with The Magnificent Savages (1996), which introduced this shipping family back in the 18th century. The Savages’ interests spread to China, and later the Wild West, Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish-American War, the Rothschild banking family, the birth of the movies, and the Jazz Age. Then, battered but not busted by the Depression, the Savages carry on with Roosevelt and the recovery, follow the rise of Japan and the Nazis, and move into WWII. Now they come to a halt at the vision of postwar plenty awaiting the surviving family members. Young twins Mark and Sebastian Savage begin by playing Chopsticks together on the family organ; many years and plot twists later, Sebastian’s pulling the plug on Mark’s iron lung.
As ever, Stewart clocks the years with short, snappy, weightless scenes.