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The Ultimate Gift (2006)

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A deceased billionaire leaves his spoiled adult grandson a series of odd tasks to perform in order to receive "the ultimate gift," with the resentful grandson having no idea what that might be.


Michael O. Sajbel


Cheryl McKay (screenplay), Jim Stovall (book)
3 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Garner ... Howard 'Red' Stevens
Bill Cobbs ... Mr. Theophilus Hamilton
Lee Meriwether ... Miss Hastings
George Lee George Lee ... Pastor (as George Lee Masters)
Brett Rice ... Bill Stevens
D. David Morin ... Jack Stevens
Abigail Breslin ... Emily Rose
Ali Hillis ... Alexia
Drew Fuller ... Jason Stevens
Mircea Monroe ... Caitlin
Donna Cherry ... Sarah Stevens
Catherine McGoohan ... Ruth Stevens
Mark Joy ... Bill's Lawyer
Mel Fair ... Jack's Lawyer
Alecia Brady Curcuru Alecia Brady Curcuru ... Bill's Wife


Jason thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise. Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: "What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?" Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard "Red" Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole "reading of the will" thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his Grandfather's money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls "gifts," each challenging Jason in an improbable way, the ... Written by Sajbel, Michael O.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Life is how you live it... not how you spend it. See more »


Drama | Family | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

12 podmienok dedicstva See more »

Filming Locations:

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,241,079, 11 March 2007, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


All of James Garner's scenes were filmed in one day. See more »


When Jason is at the plane crash site in Ecuador, large amounts of Kudzu can be seen in the background. Kudzu is an invasive vine that covers much of the southeastern United States and plainly gives away the filming location of South Carolina. See more »


Emily: Yeah, you can kiss me, even though you're a guy.
[Jason kisses Emily]
Jason Stevens: I missed you, too.
Emily: Whatever. Let's cut to the chase. You really blew it with us this Christmas.
Jason Stevens: I... I was unavoidably detained.
Emily: Okay, yeah. I want Christmas. I want - to ride - a horse.
Jason Stevens: Oh, I-I got, like, a week or two left with this other thing but, um... , lemme make a call and we'll s...
Emily: Jason. Now.
Jason Stevens: Okay.
See more »


Followed by The Ultimate Life (2013) See more »


Written by Kelly Morrison
Performed by Ed Goggin
Courtesy of Kelly Morrison Music
Arranged by Rob Pottorf & Jon Miller Whitney (as John Miller Whitney)
Produced by Rob Pottorf
See more »

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User Reviews

Made me think of my Dad - in a very good way
11 March 2007 | by SnakePlizzkenSee all my reviews

I regularly attend the $5-a-sermon Church of AMC, much to my wife's and kid's consternation. Well today I definitely got my money's worth. I saw the first Sunday showing of "The Ultimate Gift" at my local AMC here in Northern Virginia and I enjoyed it immensely. It's a great story with a wonderful cast. Big thanks to Fox Faith for getting it to the multiplex.

This is an engaging and highly watchable film. In a matter of minutes I was completely immersed in the plot and invested in the characters of the story. While a few where caricatures, I could relate to most of them as "real" people with real problems and blessings.

As I was watching Jason learn from the "gifts" that his grandfather was giving him, I couldn't help but think of my own father, who is wise and gentle and generous and loving. I'm lucky that he gave me some of these gifts in real life instead of from beyond the grave.

All of the performances in this film were rock solid. Big thumbs up to the casting director. Drew Fuller was superb as someone you want to hate but end up liking. The beautiful Ali Hillis also delivered an excellent performance. (I expect that her agent will be getting more than a few calls over the next few weeks). Abigail Breslin's performance was likewise outstanding (we already know that her agent's phone is ringing off the hook).

I encourage anyone taking the time to read my comments to seek out this film. It's really good. If you have kids, say 8 or years old and up, you should consider taking them to this movie for the lesson it teaches in a highly entertaining way. (Younger kids will probably be bored).

One more thing - this film may not last long on the big screen. I was in a 100 person auditorium with 2 other people this morning, which is kind of sad. I think Fox should have put a little bit more into the publicity machine on this one. I also noted that my local AMC didn't have it on the big board of show times at the box office, which I found odd. Perhaps they were trying to "kill" the movie in its first week due to low sales by purposely keeping it off the marquee. If so, that's really a shame because this is quite a nice little film that deserves an audience.



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