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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:

Share the gift. Change the world. 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Jason walks into the hospital for the first time, a voice can be heard over the address system saying: "Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Howard. Paging Dr. Kline, Dr. Kline. Paging Dr. Howard." This is certainly an homage to the repeated line in the 1934 Three Stooges film, Men in Black: "Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard." See more »

Goofs

When Jason sits on the bench in the park, you see the shade of the bench on the left of him. After the wanderer speaks to him and the camera goes back to Jason you don't see the shade of that bench. See more »

Quotes

Ted Hamilton: What he's trying to do is for your benefit, not your destruction.
Jason Stevens: You know, Hamilton, you sound just like him. But guess what. You're not him.
Ted Hamilton: I don't know, son. I do have one of his kidneys.
See more »

Connections

References How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Breathe Me
Performed by Dan Carey and Sia
Courtesy of Astralwerks
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

Truly Moving Picture
24 October 2006 | by tolliniSee all my reviews

I am a judge for the Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival. This feature film is a Crystal Heart Award Winner and is eligible to be the Grand Prize Winner in October of 2006. The Heartland Film Festival is a non-profit organization that honors Truly Moving Pictures. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life."

This is a story of a very rich dysfunctional family. Red Stevens (James Garner) is a crusty, old billionaire who dies suddenly in an air crash. But, Red has planned for his death carefully. He has videotaped an elaborate will. His spoiled and unappealing adult children receive enough to be set for life, but the status of the bulk of the estate remains a mystery. For his grandchild, Jason (Drew Fuller) , Red has special and unknown plans. Jason, by the way, is the ultimate rich-kid, lazy, shallow brat. Through Red's lawyer, Jason is given a number of elaborate, time-consuming tasks and challenges that Red calls "gifts." There are many of these "gifts."

The viewer has the distinct impression that these will either make Jason or break Jason. While doing these tasks in order to get an anticipated pot-of-gold, Jason is mentored and guided and even loved by a Texas rancher (Brian Dennehy), a wise lawyer, a single mother (Alii Hillis), her young daughter (Abigail Breslin) who has leukemia, and an Ecuadorian guide. Jason can't make it without these true, unselfish friends.

The story plays out as a mystery. How many tasks are there? Will Jason tire of the time-consuming and dangerous tasks and quit? Why does Red choose Jason and not the many other numerous children and grandchildren? Is there a pot-of-gold at the end of these tasks? Why is everything shrouded in secrecy? It is profound and interesting storytelling. You want to know the answers to these questions.

As the film progresses, Jason begins to turn for the better, but you never know whether he will finally make it to become a fine human being; specifically, displaying traits like respect for others, sacrifice, heroism, humility, compassion, and fidelity. Or, will he go back to his playboy lifestyle? The acting in this film makes the storytelling believable.

The acting is outstanding and it is a toss-up whether the young people dominate your attention or the old people dominate your attention.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Crystal Heart Award winners as well as other Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.


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