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The Heart Is a Rebel (1958)

PG | | Drama
Hal and Joan Foster hire Gladys, a nurse caregiver, to look after their son who has a life threatening heart problem. Joan is invited to hear Gladys sing with her church choir at a Billy ... See full summary »

Director:

Dick Ross

Writer:

Richard James
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Cast

Credited cast:
Ethel Waters ... Gladys
Georgia Lee Georgia Lee ... Joan Foster
John Milford ... Hal Foster
Scotty Morrow ... David Foster
Alvy Moore ... Bill
Sam Gilman ... Greg Johnson
Rhoda Williams Rhoda Williams ... Alice
Kristine Miller ... Mrs. Johnson
Madge Blake ... Mrs. Carlson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Brubaker ... Dr. Chambers
Billy Graham ... Himself
Kenneth MacDonald ... Alfred Carlson
Jane Withers ... Grace
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Storyline

Hal and Joan Foster hire Gladys, a nurse caregiver, to look after their son who has a life threatening heart problem. Joan is invited to hear Gladys sing with her church choir at a Billy Graham Crusade inside Madison Square Garden. Conflict arises as Hal is confused about Joan's decision for Christ. Ethel Waters sings His Eye Is On The Sparrow and the spiritual Motherless Child. Written by Jim Hughes

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

His Eye Is on the Sparrow
Written by Charles Gabriel (uncredited) and Civilla Martin (uncredited)
Arranged by Kurt Kaiser (uncredited)
Sung by Ethel Waters
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User Reviews

 
'Mad Men' Meets Billy Graham
2 June 2017 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

The Billy Graham Team (as they are described in the credits) ran a slick operation in the 1950s that could (and probably did) teach Sterling Cooper a thing or two. This glossy colour feature from their filmmaking arm World Wide Pictures boasts the considerable marquee value of blues legend Ethel Waters, who is also seen drawing the punters to Madison Square Garden as a warm up act for the Reverend Graham himself.

The 1950s is today viewed as a deeply conservative era, but is described by Billy Graham in this film as "a wicked and a perverse generation", against which he advocates embracing Jesus as a act of rebellion (a line he was still pursuing when I heard him speak in Sheffield in 1985).

The target in this film is rising young executive Hal Foster (John Milford), subjected to the relentless pester power of his pretty wife Joan (Georgia Lee) who, fresh from having just seen Billy perform, reduces a party of important business associates (including Batman's Aunt Harriet, Madge Blake, who even has a husband she keeps referring to by name called Alfred!) to embarrassed silence by suddenly (and at great length) going all religious on them. With God on Joan's side she eventually wears Hal down; and the Creator shows his usual ruthlessness when he smells a potential convert by strategically manipulating the chronic illness of their cute little son in Mysterious Ways to break Hal's resistance when both father and son are at their most vulnerable.


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