The touching true story of the fifteen years old Terry who promised his dying mother to look after his six younger brothers and keep them together as a family ... a man's job on a boy's ... See full summary »



(story), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

My Son Johnny (TV Movie 1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A talented boy whose hoodlum older brother constantly bullies and harasses, takes desperate measures to end his suffering. Soon the boys' mother has to come to terms with the way she enabled the bad behavior.

Director: Peter Levin
Stars: Michele Lee, Ricky Schroder, Corin Nemec
The Stranger Within (TV Movie 1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A troubled young man mysteriously appears in a rural Minnesota town from which he claims he was abducted 16 years ago.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Kate Jackson, Chris Sarandon
Out on the Edge (TV Movie 1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The 17 years old Danny's parents are separated. He lives with his mother with whom he can't get along to well. He adores his father but feeling abandoned he tries to get his attention and ... See full summary »

Director: John Pasquin
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Mary Kay Place, Richard Jenkins
Always Remember I Love You (TV Movie 1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Just after he turns sixteen, Robert finds out that he is adopted. His parents find to their horror that he was kidnaped from his real parents. They decide to tell him about this, even ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Miller
Stars: Patty Duke, Stephen Dorff, David Birney
Too Young the Hero (TV Movie 1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The true story of Calvin Graham who at the age of twelve, but looking quite a lot older, succeeded in joining the navy during World War II. In spite of his young age, he received a purple ... See full summary »

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Jon DeVries, Debra Mooney
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When Billy returns from reform school he has to attend a different high school at the other side of town. He tries to start with a clean slate but his old rival doesn't make it easy on him ... See full summary »

Director: Sandy Tung
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Brad Pitt, Carrie Snodgress
A Reason to Live (TV Movie 1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

When Gus Steward's wife announces that she wants to divorce him, he starts thinking about committing suicide. His 14 year old son Alex notices this and desperately tries to prevent him from... See full summary »

Director: Peter Levin
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Peter Fonda, Deidre Hall
Call of the Wild (TV Movie 1992)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young boy heads off to the Yukon after hearing tales about the Gold Rush, and he forms an unwavering friendship with a heroic Alsatian dog called Buck.

Director: Michael Toshiyuki Uno
Stars: Ricky Schroder, Gordon Tootoosis, Duncan Fraser
Too Close to Home (TV Movie 1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The 29 years old lawyer Nick Donahue is still living with his mother (Diana). To escape from her possessive behavior he decides to look for a flat of his own. Diana can't stand the idea of ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Corcoran
Stars: Judith Light, Ricky Schroder, Sarah Trigger
Do You Know the Muffin Man? (TV Movie 1989)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A police officer and his wife are shocked to find that molestation has been going on at the neighborhood day care. They're devastated when they find that their own son might be a victim too. Should they have known, should they have seen?

Director: Gilbert Cates
Stars: Pam Dawber, John Shea, Stephen Dorff
Terror on Highway 91 (TV Movie 1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A police deputy in a small town grows more and more disgusted with the rampant corruption and brutality practiced by the sheriff and his fellow officers.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: C.K. Bibby, Lara Flynn Boyle, Richard Brooks
Miles from Nowhere (TV Movie 1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Frank and Cam have been friends all their lives, Cam is on the High School Football team, coached by his dad, Frank is a promising runner, with a dream of completing a sub 4 minute mile and... See full summary »

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Ricky Schroder, James Farentino, Marlyn Mason


Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry O'Kelley (as Rick Schroder)
Wayne O'Kelley (Dad)
Dorothy Donaldson (guardian ad litem)
Charles O'Kelley
Dan Weston
Andrew Lowery ...
Tommy O'Kelley (2nd oldest)
Paw Paw
Ryan Marshall ...
David O'Kelley
Trey Yearwood ...
Jeff O'Kelley (blonde)
Peirce Baehr ...
Michael O'Kelley (littlest kid)
Grayson Fricke ...
Jason O'Kelley (littlest kid)
Linda Pierce ...
Judy O'Kelley (Mom)
Luella (step Gramdma)
Ken Strong ...
Lee Reynolds
Jim Peck ...
Brantley Kincaid - Atty.


The touching true story of the fifteen years old Terry who promised his dying mother to look after his six younger brothers and keep them together as a family ... a man's job on a boy's shoulders. He had to face many misfortunes and "parenthood" had such hard and unpleasant surprises for him, he was almost tempted to disappoint his mother ... Written by Willy Vanhaelen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

5 March 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The O'Kelley Brothers  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

They Ain't Heavy, They're My Brothers
28 February 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Georgia teenager Rick Schroder (as Terry) promises his dying mother he will look after his six little brothers after she dies. Mother wants the boys to remain together, and stay in school. When the seven sons' caring grandfather also dies, times get really tough for Mr. Schroder, who has to assume the paternal role. The boys' real father, interstate truck driver father David Andrews (as Wayne O'Kelley), is still alive - but he spends all his time on the road, in jail, or drinking alcohol...

As the responsible family member, Schroder must take teenage brother Stephen Dorff (as Charles) to the woodshed...

In a big symbolic moment, Schroeder whips young Dorff's buttocks with their grandfather's belt, for smoking in the chicken shack. Due to the camera angle, it's safe to say Dorff didn't pull down his pants or suffer any injury. Schroeder also has trouble with rebellious brother Andrew Lowery (as Tommy). Helping manage this large family are sympathetic lawyer Veronica Cartwright (as Dorothy Donaldson), slick community organizer Boyd Gains (as Dan Weston), and God.

**** A Son's Promise (3/5/90) John Korty ~ Rick Schroder, Stephen Dorff, Veronica Cartwright, David Andrews

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
why cailey2003-1
here is a link fatimancosta
Veronica Cartwright to appear at Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention filmnoirfugitive
Discuss A Son's Promise (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: