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Son's Promise

1 rating: 3.0
A movie

This moving drama, based on a true story, stars Rick Shroder (of SILVER SPOONS fame) as a 15-year-old boy who promises his dying mother that he will take care of his six brothers, and struggles with the responsibility of keeping his family together at … see full wiki

Release Date: 1990
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Son's Promise

A Son’s Promise - 1990

  • May 27, 2009
Pros: good script and tight acting

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"I won't tell_no_lie
all of the people around us they_say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose"
~Rodgers, Edwards

Life has a funny way of going at you sometimes and it seemed like Terry O’Kelly just never caught a break. When he, his six brothers, ailing mother and worthless father are forced to return to the paternal homestead, Terry grows even closer to his mother. During a late night talk, when things were getting really bad, she did the obvious and got him to give A Son’s Promise.

That promise was, if anything should ever happen to her, Terry would make sure the boys all stayed together and that he would look out for them. At the time he was 15 years old. She died shortly thereafter, the father was nowhere to be found, and Terry kept his promise. He quit school, found fulltime employment as well as help his grandfather around the farm, and kept the family together. He wasn’t always in good stead with his siblings, especially the older ones, once he started laying down the law. Despite that, he was determined to keep his promise.

Eventually the grandfather died and the grandmother, not their biological grandmother, moved her stuff out part and parcel, leaving the boys with a couple of mattresses and a can of beans. However the grandfather had left the farm and house to Terry, which really ticked off his dad … who suddenly is on the scene again. Since Terry was still a minor, 17 now, daddy took control of the home and money and quickly drank it away or spent it on unnecessary items.

Terry, realizing he was in financial trouble, does probably the worse thing he could do, he got the state agencies involved, trying to get help. Now you know and I know what happens once the State sticks its miserable head in … Terry loses custody of the boys except the elder one. He feels like a failure. Eventually he gets custody back of the next in line, so the three boys are living fairly well, though frugally, in the vacant farmhouse. Until one night it catches fire and burns to the ground.

A local well-to-do family takes them in, starts a campaign in newspapers and on television about the 7 boys plight, and starts raking in the money. He even convinces the local homebuilders association to put them up a new house, gratis. All is going well until he oversteps his bounds and tries to snake-oil his way into the cash cow. Once Terry removes his family from this mans grasp, all construction stops on the house.

Terry never gives up his fight to win custody of all 6 boys, even though he is now only 18 years old. This film is based on a true event that took place in Georgia. I haven’t given away all of the story or even the ending.

A Son’s Promise was directed by John Korty; written by Bill Stratton. It received no award nominations and carries no rating although I’d give it a PG or even G rating. There is nothing harmful in this movie and instead tells of intense love and dedication in a family.

Ricky Schroder played Terry O’Kelly in one of his best performances. Twenty at the time, he easily portrayed the innocent 15 year old, forced into parenthood and having to face the layers of state systems and courts. He was joined by Veronica Cartwright who played his court appointed attorney, and his listening post. A rather sleazy David Andrews played the father and a good bit of acting by Stephen Dorff as one of the brothers, Charles.

This movie was actually well done, made for TV and heartbreak. However I was impressed with the quality of the work, the script, and acting. No extras on DVD.



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