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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.

Director:

Michael O. Sajbel

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A life experience becomes a gift. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$3,438,735
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the five production companies credited for this film is Stanford Financial Group, the holding company for convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford. This was one of only two known films ever credited to Stanford Financial Group (the other was The Perfect Game (2009)), which was liquidated by the US Government in an effort to partially refund bilked investors. See more »

Goofs

At the Thanksgiving dinner, after Ruth rolls her eyes and the camera angle changes, Ruth is just finishing a sip of wine when she was not previously doing so in the previous angle. See more »

Quotes

Emily: So, you have a bet with a dead guy?
Jason Stevens: Mm-hm.
Emily: Cool.
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Connections

Referenced in The Hour: In Pakistan (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

On Fire
Written by Jon Foreman and Daniel Victor
Performed by Switchfoot
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
Don't Pass This Little Film By
24 August 2007 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Jim 'You Don't Have to be Blind to See' Stovall is an inspirational writer who in 2001 published a little book by the name of THE ULTIMATE GIFT in which he transposed many of his motivational teachings into a novel form, a story of how a tape of a dying man can alter the life of a crassly money-centric young grandson leading him through trials and challenges to teach him the meaning of life. Now THE ULTIMATE GIFT comes to the screen/DVD and before making the groaning judgment that here is yet another insipid little tale about learning life's lessons and gaining some spirituality in the process, try watching this two hour traversal of well acted and well scripted (Cheryl McKay) and well directed (Michael O. Sajbel) input. There is a lot more to the film than the grinches might think! A wealthy man Red Stevens (James Garner) has amassed a fortune, turning his personal life into a shambles in the process and producing a family of greedy ruthless gluttons - with one exception: one son rebelled and lost his life to dreams despite the aspirations of the father. Red has just died and the will is read by Red's longtime partner and lawyer Ted (Bill Cobbs) and his devoted assistant Miss Hastings (Lee Meriwether): the family is outraged at the results of Red's division of his fortune and the one person who is left to learn of the will's content is Red's egocentric grandson Jason (Drew Fuller). Through a taped interview just prior to his death Red outlines the twelve lessons Jason must learn if he is to inherit anything. And here begins the episodic journey during which Jason learns about poverty, compassion, friends, death, and spirituality that changes Jason into a full human being and creates a character who gives back more than he gets.

Along the way Jason encounters work-ethic Gus (Brian Dennehy), a little girl Emily dying from leukemia (Abigail Breslin) whose sharp wit and tongue manifest wisdom that leads to the bonding of Jason and Emily's mother Alexia (Ali Hillis), and host of other character actors in the various parts of the world where Jason's journey takes him. Yes, the plot is predictable, and yes, the tenor of the piece borders on soap opera at times, but the end result is an examination of life that is told with enough fine humor and realistic dialog that it works. If viewers pass by this DVD because they fear it is just another sappy lecture, they will miss the pleasure of entering the realm of tender communication delivered with style and sincerity. And we all need that, especially now...Grady Harp


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