‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’ is adrama movie that revolves around the beautiful friendship of a 12-year-old, Dustin, and an old man named Jonathan Sperry. They converse after Dustin mows his lawn, and Jonathan begins to mentor him about Christian values. Over time, they include the young boy’s two best friends, and the circle expands as the light of faith illuminates more spirits. The 2008 Rich Christiano directorial is an impactful film that touches one’s soul in the most heartwarming way. If you want to learn more about the movie and whether it was based on a real-life event, we’ve got you covered.
Is The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry a True Story?
No, ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’ is a work of fiction written by Dave and Rich Christiano to showcase how one person’s faith can inspire others. Being a Christian film, it promotes religious values in accordance with the Bible and depicts how faith can transform and unite people for the better. Set in the 1970s, the movie perfectly exuberates the wholesome and peaceful atmosphere of that era before technology took over the world. Even though it moves at a slow pace, their twists are quite intriguing, and each one of them reinforces a Christian value.
The filmmakers do a commendable job of portraying how a person can reform their lives and grow significantly by accepting Christ as their savior and adhering to his noble teachings. As reports suggest, the true representation of Christianity impressed the pastors and followers at the forefront of the religion, who helped promote this movie in several ways. Late Gavin MacLeod, who stars as the titular character, compared his determination for the film with the apostle Paul (one of the 12 men whom Christ chose to spread his teachings).
MacLeod said, “In the Bible, Paul says when you become born again, you become an ambassador for Christ. When I read that, that really touched my heart and made me really think about myself and my life and why did God give me a second and third, and fourth chance. I could have been dead four times with the things that have happened to me in my life, with my heart and the last operation. If I had waited two more days, I would have been crippled for the rest of my life, and I would be in a wheelchair.”
The late actor added, “But God has had his hands on me, and He has forgiven and given me a new beginning. So I’ve become an ambassador for Christ, and to me, it’s the greatest honor I have ever had. What does an ambassador do? I said, ‘Well, an ambassador serves, and an ambassador brings people and tells people about this person he’s serving. So I’ve become this ambassador for Christ as all of us have. I’m able to use film to do it. And so, to me, it’s the ultimate.”
According to MacLeod, ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’ is the most meaningful work of his lifetime. Rich Christiano also revealed his movie’s influence in an interview with Movie Mom. He spoke about a woman who was overjoyed to find out that her eight-year-old was eager to learn about the Gospel of John; another one conveyed how her husband asked for a Bible after drifting away from the faith. Rich also unveiled that a 60-year-old woman’s sister cried after watching the film, which was quite out of character for her.
The director said, “One of our sponsors in Fort Worth, Texas took his daughter to the film. When she saw a character change in the film, she told her father she wanted to show that she had been changed. There’s a strong message of forgiveness in this film. We’ve shown it in prison. Several of the prisoners wrote me a letter.” The cinematic piece had a large impact, and as per the director, receiving the teachings in an audio-visual format is perhaps more effective. He recalled instances of how someone couldn’t remember their pastor’s words but the plot and details of a movie they watched years ago.
Rich shouldered the responsibility of using the silver screen to spread the word of the Lord and include a meaningful message in most of his films. When asked about the setting, he said, “There’s no cell phones, no text messaging, no X-Box. I showed opening credits over pictures like old-school film-making. It’s like Mayberry with Bible study. It’s a throwback. It’s not edgy. It’s simply shot with no visual effects. It’s story-driven. It’s not an action film. It’s got laughs. And it’s got heart.”
Needless to say, ‘The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry’ might not be a real story, but it embodies the true spirit of Christianity and also displays how friendship knows no bounds and can spark between people of any age group and change the perspective of both parties involved. But most importantly, the narrative is moving and powerful enough for people to have a wake-up call and align themselves with God’s will.
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