7.4/10
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The Gift of Love (1994)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Andy Griffith ... Phil Doucet
Blair Brown ... Helen Porter
Penny Fuller ... Leora
Joyce Van Patten ... Erika Magnussen
Richard Herd
Daniel von Bargen
J.C. Quinn
Olivia Burnette ... Louise
Will Friedle ... Luke
Roddy Gray Roddy Gray ... Otis
Randell Haynes Randell Haynes ... Store Manager
Frank Hoyt Taylor ... Doc Norring
Tim Parati ... Lou Stockton
John Brasington John Brasington ... Deputy Stanley
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Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Set for Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Okay, sentimental TV movie
23 March 2006 | by vandino1See all my reviews

This is a by-the-numbers kind of TV movie about a cranky widower (Griffith) with a heart condition, his daughter (Brown) that he has issues with, his beloved grandson who dies, and the runaway girl (Burnette) with a dark secret, whose appearance on the scene re-connects the emotional dots for one-and-all.

The Good: Griffith is always appealing, especially when you know his cranky act will fade as the story progresses. Burnette is a cute little thing and a natural. She's also the age of the character, so we don't have some late-twentyish actor playing a seventeen-year-old. Brown is fine, too, especially since she gets almost all of the toughest emotional scenes. Also, the idea that a desperate runaway finds refuge in the Mayberry-like setting is appealing. Griffith and Burnette work well together.

The Bad: Griffith is much too agile for an old man with a recently transplanted heart. He even tackles a character in the finale! Before the film is twenty minutes old he's gone from heart condition to transplant and out of the hospital without so much as a scene or mention of a follow-up visit or medication or anything related to such a huge procedure. It's treated as if he had his appendix out! And his cranky attitude toward Burnette's character would have been better if played longer. Sure it's sweet Andy, but the antagonism between the two plays so well and realistically... it would've been so much stronger when Griffith finally realized he really needs the kid in his life. And the issues between Griffith and Brown, when revealed, are clichés. Strangely, their bland emotional issues are handled more dramatically than when Burnette's dark secret is revealed, which is far more powerful, yet treated almost indifferently, with a quick tsk-tsk windup. But, all and all, it's just a sentimental TV movie, so no need to really carp.


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