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Prayers for Bobby (2009)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  24 January 2009 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 9,323 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 17 critic

True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.

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Title: Prayers for Bobby (TV Movie 2009)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Shannon Eagen ...
Nancy Griffith
...
David
Rebecca Louise Miller ...
Jeanette
...
Psychologist
Madge Levinson ...
Ophelia
Marshall McClean ...
Reverend Owens
...
Betty Lambert
...
Reverend Whitsell
Anna Badalamenti ...
Michelle
...
Doug
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Storyline

In "Prayers for Bobby," Mary Griffith is a devout Christian who raises her children with the conservative teachings of the Presbyterian Church. However, when her son Bobby confides to his older brother he may be gay, life changes for the entire family after Mary learns about his secret. While Bobby's father and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality, Mary believes God can cure him of what she considers his 'sin' and persuades Bobby to pray harder and seek solace in church activities in hopes of changing him. Desperate for his mother's approval, Bobby does what is asked of him, but through it all, the church's apparent disapproval of homosexuality causes him to grow increasingly withdrawn and depressed. Guilty over the pain he is causing Mary, Bobby moves away, yet hopes that some day his mother will accept him. His subsequent depression and self-loathing intensifies as he blames himself for not being the 'perfect' son and is driven to suicide. Faced with their tragedy, ... Written by Louie Neira

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She loves everything about her son... except who he is.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

24 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bobby seul contre tous  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real Mary Griffth appears on the left in the gay parade wearing a blue PFLAG shirt, next to the boy which Sigourney Weaver hugs. See more »

Goofs

The seduction scene from _Spartacus (1967)_ (with Tony Curtis and Laurence Olivier) playing on the television was not in the original release of the film in 1960. Even if it were, the version playing on television in 1978 would have a been a butchered, less violent, re-release of the film The seduction scene was not put into the film until its restoration in 1991 by Robert A. Harris. On top of that, the audio tracks were missing or destroyed. So, Tony Curtis re-recorded his lines. Since Laurence Olivier was now deceased, Anthony Hopkins re-recorded his. Although the scene fits contextually (it's an analogy about having a "taste for snails over oysters"), it's inclusion is inaccurate. See more »

Quotes

Mary Griffith: Homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuals are doomed to spend eternity in hell. If they wanted to change, they could be healed of their evil ways. If they would turn away from temptation, they could be normal again if only they would try and try harder if it doesn't work. These are all the things I said to my son Bobby when I found out he was gay. When he told me he was homosexual my world fell apart. I did everything I could to cure him of his sickness. Eight months ago my son jumped off a bridge ...
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User Reviews

 
Bible study
25 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I cried my eyes out, so maybe I shouldn't raise any objections, but... many things in this beautifully made movie were more simplistic than they needed to be.

The priest called Mary's attention to commands in the Bible she obviously wasn't taking literally in her life: we should stone disobedient children to death, we shouldn't eat shellfish. She then looks up these passages and tells the priest she has read them, and continues to raise questions about his reasoning. But earlier in the movie the family amuses itself with Bible quizzes -- I say a phrase, you tell me the book and chapter it's from. How could a woman who clearly knew the Bible better than she knew her own son not already have read Deuteronomy and Leviticus backwards, forwards, and inside out? For a self-convinced Christian like Mary, the contradictions between the passages in the Bible she liked and the ones she didn't like would have been explained away long before the events of this story.

Also, as another poster has said, the story didn't really lead us to understand why the boy did what he did. There's a hint that his boyfriend was seeing other guys, he got a really nasty birthday present from his mother, he was very lonely at the hospital where he worked, but -- the dots weren't really connected. It felt like a couple of scenes had been cut, with the effect that at the climactic moment I found myself asking "Wha'?" instead of feeling the horrible inevitability of it.

Why am I criticizing a movie that gave me the best cry I've had in months? Because movies on Lifetime, even the best ones, always pull back from the edge. There is always at least to some degree an ironed-out, homogenized, Canadian-locationized blandness to the storytelling (even though this one wasn't shot in Canada.) What if they let a movie actually be itself? What if they aimed for Sundance quality nuance, naturalism, emotion, unexpectedness in storytelling? The writing and direction on this movie were first-rate, for what it was (and Sigourney Weaver and Ryan Kelley ripped my heart out)-- but I feel that both writer and director could have gone all the way with it and made it a MOVIE.

I wonder why they didn't.


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Am I the only one who didn't like this movie? Sonicpnoy86
Heartwrenching. I Cried, and Cried, and then Cried Some More cinephile20
PFLAG Relevant? anemailaddress
Got Me Wondering.... xxcibikxx
Who is he!!! Super cute!!! andyjoex70
this needs to be released into cinemas!! gotmadboy
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