When his mother dies, Bob not only inherits her house, but also the custody of his younger brother, who suffers from schizophrenia and epilepsy. At the age of 21, Bob promised to look after... See full summary »



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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Beuhler
Annie Gilbert
Michael Alldredge ...
Dr. Pressman
Mary Marsh ...
Mrs. Post
Joan (as Barbara Alexander)
Raissa Fleming ...
Art Burke ...
Dr. Wexler
Bob Griggs ...
Janet Baumhover ...
Mrs. Green
Charles Bernard ...
Mr. Allison
Claretta Mariana ...


When his mother dies, Bob not only inherits her house, but also the custody of his younger brother, who suffers from schizophrenia and epilepsy. At the age of 21, Bob promised to look after his brother. Although he has barely seen him in the many years since then and strives against the commitment, he doesn't dare to put him in a home either. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family





Release Date:

21 December 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Promise (#36.1)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in The 44th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

A Garner Showcase
29 May 2016 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Not often are IMDb reviewers as consistently laudatory as they are here. But that's understandable. "Promise" is a highly affecting family drama deserving of its many awards. I suspect it's also the kind of film Garner long wanted to make, (he's also the co-producer). As the charming rogue of Maverick and the affable PI of Rockford, he was unrivaled. Here, however, he shows vulnerable emotions never called for in those entertaining but lightweight series. Plus he's truly moving as he tries to reconcile to the care of his troubled brother. But then Bob (Garner) does have a promise to keep to his now deceased mother. Up to that point, he's been shirking his brother, leading an absentee, self-centered life, instead. But now he has to confront the reality of a brother mentally unable to care for himself. Can Bob make that life-altering adjustment.

Woods too is excellent as DJ, the brother. Here he's not as sinister as he often is. Still, he does have to run an emotional gamut from frozen silence to raging enthusiasm. Just as importantly, his chemistry with Garner makes us feel what's on screen and not just the words. As a result, we're drawn inevitably into their predicament. Add a still appealing Piper Laurie to the mix and it's an outstanding threesome.

I'm not surprised the material was filmed for TV rather than theatres since the commercial appeal would seem limited, especially if folks were expecting a typical James Garner. The movie's moral is also a strong one— one I take to be that despite DJ's calamities, he brings to the surface the good man that Bob has always been, but has so far remained hidden from others and himself. In short, both brothers are redeemed in a subtly life-affirming way. All in all, it's a fine offbeat film.

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Does anyone have a copy of this Made for TV Movie? rickt16
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