Film with Gospel message coming to Tyler

Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A Christian film is making it's debut weekend across the U.S. and in Tyler Friday. "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" will be at the Carmike 14 on Broadway. Friday's showtimes include 11:30am, 2:10pm, 4:40pm, 7:15pm and 9:35pm.

The film stars Gavin MacLeod and Robert Guillaume. MacLeod has been working in Hollywood for about 60 years and has played in roles with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, holding roles in shows that include "The Love Boat" and "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Released by Rich Christiano with Christiano Film Group:

Five & Two Pictures is proud to announce the upcoming release of a very special film entitled "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry." 

"The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" is an inspiring film for viewers from 8 years old to 80 years old. Best buddies Dustin (Jansen Panettiere), Albert (Frankie Ryan Manriquez), and Mark (Allen Isaacson) are twelve year old boys looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970.  When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five year old Jonathan Sperry (Gavin MacLeod), a man he has seen at church, a unique friendship develops.  What happens the rest of this summer is something Dustin and his friends will never forget!

Jansen Panettiere, the younger brother of Hayden Panettiere of "Heroes" fame, and Robert Guillaume also co-star.

Actor Kirk Cameron says "'The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry' moved me with its message about how one faithful man can make a difference in the lives of many. I recommend this inspiring movie for any family to watch together."

"The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" has a very unique marketing plan behind the film where churches sponsor the film as a local outreach in theaters. The movie is scheduled to be in over 250 and adding more daily.

Popular actor Gavin MacLeod, made famous from his roles in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Love Boat," is a devout Christian and said it was a privilege to play this role.  "I have been acting for over 60 years," Gavin says. "I made my first movie in the mid-1950's and have worked with some of the biggest stars in show business - Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, Bing Crosby - the list goes on and on," he adds. "I also had the opportunity to be in two of the most popular TV shows in the history of television playing a newsman in 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and the captain of 'The Love Boat.' Playing the role of Jonathan Sperry is the most meaningful project I have ever done."

The film's Director and Producer Rich Christiano (who also made "Time Changer") and his team are hoping that churches and groups will jump on board. "Ninety-nine percent of the movies that come out in the theater have almost nothing to do with the Lord and Christian themes. I think this movie can encourage alot of people during difficult times. They will laugh, be encouraged and touched.

Actor Pat Boone called "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" a "heartwarming experience for the entire family."

"The church normally just plays defense," Christiano adds. "Hollywood will do something we don't like, and we complain about it. We need to go on the offense! Let's put forth films that can be positive for our society like 'The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.'  If viewers will give this movie a chance, I think they are going to pleasantly surprised.  Jonathan Sperry is going to be the spiritual grandfather we all wish we had!"

To view a trailer and scenes from the movie, or to help sponsor the movie in your local theater, visit the movie website at