The semi-autobiographical story of Michael Landon's high school life, his devoted father and his unique talent and ability to throw a javelin, despite his smaller frame.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harriet Orowitz
Gene Orowitz
Cathy Stanton
Clyde Hayes ...
Robert Woods (as Alan Hayes)
Jonna Lee ...
Bonnie Barnes
Gene Orman
Cy Martin
William Boyett ...
Coach Sutter
John Walcutt ...
Ronnie Morgan
David Lloyd Nelson ...
Lonnie Morgan
Mr. Turner (as William H. Bassett)
Harvey Gold ...
Jake Bellow
Mr. Collins
David Wakefield ...


Michael Landon's semi-autobiographical sketch of his earlier life. It's the story of Gene Orowitz, a high school student struggling with his bed-wetting, who finds success as a distance runner on the track team. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's your story too. Take someone you love. See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 August 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Sam  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Landon specifically chosen Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson for the roles of the parents. See more »


Camera shadow is visible on the ground when the limo pulls away from the Orowitz house. See more »


Harriet Orowitz: I was never so embarrassed in all my life! I mean, even the principal couldn't believe that you would make up such a ridiculous story!
Gene Orowitz: It's not ridiculous. I didn't make it up.
Harriet Orowitz: Oh. Well, then, god forgive us. He is crazy.
Sam Orowitz: Oh, no. Harriet!
Harriet Orowitz: What else would you call it? I mean, ask him. Ask him why he thinks he's getting stronger because his hair is getting longer. Is that what God said? Did God talk to you?
Gene Orowitz: No. It was a feeling. It just came to me.
Harriet Orowitz: It just came to you. Well, it just came to me ...
See more »


Features Samson and Delilah (1949) See more »

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8 April 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

"Sam's Son" is notable in the Michael Landon oeuvre as the only big-screen movie he made as a writer-director; it still seems TV-ish both in casting - Timothy Patrick Murphy from "Dallas," Jonna Lee from "Otherworld" - and scope (and in fact it was barely released to cinemas at the time), and it's not bad for what it is; a family drama focusing on the relationship between a father and son, with the son channeling his personal problems into athletics and eventually becoming a champion javelin tosser, played in bookends by the late Mr. Landon.

Interestingly, in 1976 Michael Landon wrote and directed the TV movie "The Loneliest Runner," which is remarkably similar to this movie; both are about teenage boys with humiliating personal problems and extremely unfeeling mothers, both main characters have extremely supporting and caring fathers (in "The Loneliest Runner" the mother is so mean that she hangs out her son's wet sheets for all to see, all of which makes the moment when Brian Keith finally tells her to "shut up" even more satisfying... not that it's manipulative or anything, heaven forfend), both characters grow up to be successful athletes, and both are played in their adult years by guess which cast member of "Little House on the Prairie"? (Clue: Not Richard Bull.)

I guess Michael Landon had more baggage in his real life than his famously schmaltzy TV shows let on. Isn't that always the way? (Of course, that won't come as a surprise to anyone who's seen the TV movie about his family...)

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