Miracle of the Heart: A Boys Town Story (1986)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  31 March 1986 (USA)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Father Michael T. O'Halloran
Jack Bannon ...
Father Lester
Anne Pitoniak ...
Maggie Scott
Hank Grogan
Winslow Denton
Lisa Sloan ...
Nancy Grogan
Andy Grainger
Barbra Rae ...
Leona Grainger
Enrique Mendoza
Stephanie Gamble
Toby Mason
Lillian Lehman ...
Anne Compton
Donald Nelson ...


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orphanage | priest | orphan | See All (3) »







Release Date:

31 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cudowne serce  »

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Fartwarming. (spoilers)
20 September 2005 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

I wouldn't be surprised if this forgotten made-for-TV drama based on the Boys Town organization of Nebraska somehow found itself in the rerun catalog for prime-time family program stations like PAX or for those terribly out-of-date movies with moral lessons they force you to watch in life management classes in high school. Though well-meaning, this one is crammed with a stark departure from realism and plenty of bad acting by all except Art Carney.

The movie primarily follows alleged petty street tough Andy Grainger (Seimaszko) (who's troubles stem from a rather neglecting mother). After an afternoon joy ride in a stolen cars leads to a wild run-in with the police, Andy is given the option of jail or a term in Boys Town. So Andy takes the latter and is given a second chance.

Although initially reluctant to settle into the swing of things at Boys Town, despite being very lucky to avoid sentencing to juvenile detention and the minor presence of harsh rules, Andy has plans to leave. But, and as the usually family drama goes, he learns the lessons that those at Boys Town try to teach him and eventually, changes his ways. Meanwhile, Art Carney plays Father Halloran, the aging priest who is fighting retirement with a younger priest and trying to keep the spirit and teachings of Boys Town alive with Andy being his primary example of success.

Typical family drama material with excess emphasis on the role of the church in solving problems (Boys Town is a Catholic institution) might be tolerable were it not for the unrealistic events and the utterly bad acting, especially by Seimaszko and Dorsey ("Winslow"). Art Carney's presence is at least entertaining.

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