Rev. Holvak and his brood struggle to get by in 1930s Tennessee.






Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

James at 16 (1977–1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

James, a daydreamer and photographer, must learn to cope with life as his father moves the family from Oregon to Boston MA. Though there is much humor here, the series dealt with many ... See full summary »

Stars: Lance Kerwin, Linden Chiles, Lynn Carlin
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Treasure hunters from around the world race to Mexico after a Middle Eastern luxury yacht explodes, sending a Shah's fortune and mysterious document to the bottom of the ocean.

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Stars: Chuck Connors, Susana Dosamantes, Charles East
Switch (1975–1978)
Crime | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An ex-cop and an ex-con start their own detective agency.

Stars: Robert Wagner, Eddie Albert, Charlie Callas
Cade's County (1971–1972)
Action | Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sam Cade is the tough but sensitive sheriff of sprawling Madrid County located somewhere in the American Southwest. Between chases and shootouts, episodes deal with a number of relevant '... See full summary »

Stars: Glenn Ford, Edgar Buchanan, Taylor Lacher
Mara Maru (1952)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An American salvage diver plunges into dangerous intrigue around a sunken treasure in the Philippines.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Errol Flynn, Ruth Roman, Raymond Burr
The 3,000 Mile Chase (TV Movie 1977)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Secret courier Matt Considine accepts the mission to escort chief witness Dvorak and his wife from San Francisco to a trial in New York. They have to cover 3,000 dangerous miles, because ... See full summary »

Director: Russ Mayberry
Stars: Cliff De Young, Glenn Ford, Blair Brown
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Colonel Pete Moore is commander of the Whitney Radar Test Group, which has been experiencing electrical difficulties aboard its aircraft. To ferret out the problem, he sends a four-man crew... See full summary »

Director: Jud Taylor
Stars: Glenn Ford, Bradford Dillman, David Soul
Once an Eagle (1976–1977)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The story of two Army officers, one a ruthless, career-obsessed schemer, the other his exact opposite, and their personal and professional lives from the end of World War I to the beginning of Vietnam.

Stars: Cliff Potts, Darleen Carr, Amy Irving
The Greatest Gift (TV Movie 1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Reverend Holvak, a poor rural preacher in the 1940s, fights against stiff- necked church deacons and a violent, bullying sheriff while struggling to support his family.

Director: Boris Sagal
Stars: Glenn Ford, Julie Harris, Lance Kerwin

From Slavery to success, watch a young woman treacherous journey to reach her goal to become a teacher in the post-slavery south.

Jarrett (TV Movie 1973)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A private investigator specializing in fine arts tries to track down some missing rare biblical scrolls.

Director: Barry Shear
Stars: Glenn Ford, Anthony Quayle, Forrest Tucker


Series cast summary:
 Rev. Tom Holvak (10 episodes, 1975)
 Elizabeth Holvak (10 episodes, 1975)
 Ramey Holvak (10 episodes, 1975)
Elizabeth Cheshire ...
 Julie Mae Holvak (10 episodes, 1975)
Ted Gehring ...
 Chester Purdle (10 episodes, 1975)
Cynthia Howard ...
 Ida (10 episodes, 1975)


Reverend Tom Holvak and his family--wife Elizabeth, teenage son Ramey and young daughter Julie Mae--battled to survive the Depression in the Deep South, sometimes with their love for each other as their only defense. Being the religious head of their Tennessee town wasn't enough to keep food on the table, so Tom farmed a small piece of land owned by the church to get by. Written by Marty McKee <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

7 September 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La famiglia Holvak  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows The Greatest Gift (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Commemorating "The Family Holvak" television series on its golden 40th anniversary
23 December 2015 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

Two-time Oscar nominated actor Glenn Ford starred in two different television series that were four years apart during the 1970's. First he starred as a Midwest sheriff in the crime drama/detective series "Cade's County" that lasted two seasons. On November 4, 1974, NBC aired the made for television movie titled "The Greatest Gift" that was based on the 1953 novel "Ramey" by Jack Farris and was based in the depression era 1930's of the Deep South about humble preacher(Glenn Ford)along with his wife(Julie Harris)and son(Lance Kerwin)facing the injustices and conflicts while keeping the simple family values. The NBC Movie Special was an immediate hit bringing Emmy nominations for both Glenn Ford and Julie Harris. It was so successful that the network gave the green light for a weekly series titled "The Family Holvak" which was the network's answer to CBS' "The Waltons" and at the time the producers attempt to cash in on a slew of wholesome family dramas that were all over the place during the mid-1970's.

"The Family Holvak" was produced by the team of Richard Collins, Roland Kibbee and Dean Hargrove(most basically responsible for their work on the Universal produced television shows including "Ironside", "The Name of the Game", "Columbo", "It Takes A Thief","McHale's Navy" and "The Six Million Dollar Man" just to name a few). "The Family Holvak" was NBC's attempt to cash in quick on another family drama after the astounding success of "Little House on the Prairie" which premiered in 1974, a year before this show aired. Interesting point here. The short-lived "The Family Holvak" was placed on NBC's Sunday night slot in prime time where it was sandwiched between "The Wonderful World of Disney",and "The NBC Mystery Movies" thinking that it would be a success. The series premiered on September 7, 1975 and lasted only four months on the air producing 10 episodes until December 28,1975. The reason why it didn't last very long? And why did NBC move this drama into a different time slot? First off, NBC put this wholesome family drama opposite on Sunday nights "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour", and "The Six Million Dollar Man" which clobbered it in the ratings.

As a series it had great potential bringing on board big time directors ranging from Alf Kjellin, John Newland, Ralph Senensky, George Sherman, Corey Allen, Vincent Sherman, and Christian Nyby. Great writers ranging from Richard Fielder, to Stanley Roberts and Jerry DeBono contribute to some of the episodes. Only actors Glenn Ford, Julie Harris, Lance Kerwin and Elizabeth Cheshire stayed on throughout the series entire short- lived run. The guest star roster included David Carradine, Michael Conrad, Mary Alice, John Anderson, Dirk Blocker, Julie Sommars, Fran Ryan, Kenneth Tobey, Arlene Golonka, Denver Pyle, Cliff Potts, Charles Lane, and Clint Ritchie just to name a few. Several episodes from this series do stand out even though it was short-lived. "The Long Way Home" was a two-part episode that was basically the pilot from the made from TV-Movie "The Greatest Gift". Other episodes include another two-part episode "First Love",along with "Remembrance of a Guest", the emotional heart-tuggler episode "The Tribute", "The Willing Heart",and the final episode of the series "The Wedding". When "The Family Holvak" television series was canceled on December 28, 1975, the powers that be decided at NBC to replaced the series with the expansion of "The NBC Mystery Movies" that went from two to three hours on that Sunday night time slot. This was a grand series but if Universal can put out the entire five seasons of "The Six Million Dollar Man",and the entire eight seasons of "Columbo" than "The Family Holvak" deserves that status on DVD as well. For die-hard fans of Glenn Ford it should be a tribute.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Family Holvak (1975) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: