The Early Years of Billy Graham

DVD - 2010
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An inspiration to billions of people worldwide, Billy Graham is the charismatic preacher who became one of the most important figures of 20th Century Christianity. Now discover Billy as the earnest and promising young man at the crossroads of faith and doubt, ultimately facing the moment of decision that gives way to history's most influential Evangelist. Exclusive sermon by Billy Graham.


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Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

"How can there be a God in this evil world?" -- character of Charles Templeton, the movie "Billy."

Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

"I have a friend--a dear friend--who told me Jesus was a man, nothing but a man. Well, He was a man. He was human. He was not a white man, and He was not a black man . . . . And Christianity is not a white man's religion. And don't you let anybody tell you that it is white, or black." character of Billy Graham in "Billy."

Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

"So who is this strange man who marches His way across history? Who can explain Him? There's never been anyone else like Him. My friend who is an atheist will tell you that." From the 1949 tent revival scene, "Billy."

Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

"He only had a ministry of three years, and yet 2,000 years later millions upon millions on every continent bow down and worship Him, Why? How is this possible? Because he was made to redeem us. He went up onto that cross to redeem us. And on that cross He touched the finger of God in one hand, and in the other hand He reached out and He took your hand, and in that moment on the cross He reconciled God and man." Character of Billy, from the movie.


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Dec 25, 2015

This movie is a piece of fluff, like something that might appear on a Sunday afternoon romance channel. It [inadvertently???] depicts Graham as a mental light-weight who lacks conscience, courage, and even caring (e.g., he appeared to be unaffected by the holocaust scenes -- I would find that inexplicable and astonishing for any average person on the street -- but for someone who garnered a reputation as a prime spritual leader of the century?!! The only character in the film whose reason and integrity can be respected was Charles Templeton. This makes sense, given his well-founded conversion to atheism, but I was surprised the movie-maker was willing to so blatantly reveal Templeton's mental, moral, and philosophical superiority to Graham. In my view, only a person who subscribes fully to Christian faith is likely to be charmed by this movie or its characterization of young Graham.

Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

"We wanted to make . . . a film that would appeal to everyone. Not a film . . . that's a lecture, or a docu-drama," says Director Robby Benson, in the movie's "The Making of Billy" special feature.

It took a 3-month search to find Armie Hammer, the actor for the title role. He watched a lot of footage and did a lot of study to play the role, and was especially influenced by watching Billy Graham's interview with Woody Allen, on YouTube. Stephanie Butler shines as Billy's wife, Ruth.

Martin Landau plays the elder Charles Templeton, Billy's evangelist friend-turned-agnostic. Jennifer O'Neill is the reporter who interviews him. Billy's Mom: Lindsay Wagoner. Country music singer Josh Turner plays George Beverly Shea, who was with Billy for over 60 years. First song of the credits: "Amazing Love," sung by Michael W. Smith and Melinda Doolittle. And--I didn't notice him at first because he wasn't wearing his ice skates or doing back-flips--but there's a cameo appearance by the lovable Scott Hamilton.

Quote from the movie are in--you guessed it--"quotes." The video is the trailer of the final cut of the movie. The movie is based on the book, "Billy: The Untold Story" by the film's producer, William McKay.

McKay says he got the idea while in an airplane, out of the blue: " . . . an idea literally sliced right through my mind: 'Billy: The Young Years."

There are two problems with this movie. First, parts are fictionalized, and they didn't do an optional commentary as a special feature explaining where. Second, the movies PG rating is due to graphic images of violence; details are under "Notices."


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Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

Coarse Language: A few words; in this film, as with images, a good opportunity to open discussion with children, rather than to have them not see the film. Rated PG, and parents should screen or use warnings under "graphic violence.

Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

Violence: Great film for teaching kids how and why to avert their eyes: After a blue movie camera in the screen's upper right corner, images of starved, dead, naked Holocaust victims. After child's birth, Templeton looks into hallway; a bloody dead child is wheeled by. In the "Making of" feature, Templeton's picture on a magazine cover with a red border is ~ 2 seconds before more dead Holocaust victims.


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Sam_I_Am Jun 24, 2011

"How can there be a God in this evil world?" asks Billy Graham's friend. I thought-provoking story of faith and loss of faith, but also a rich love story of the friendship between Billy and his beloved Ruth.

The movie "Billy: The Early Years" ends at the point Billy is speaking at the 1949 tent revival in Los Angeles, which quickly launched him to become an internationally known evangelist. Quotes from there in the movie are in "quotes."

Please be aware, this movie is not by, or endorsed by, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). It is based on facts, but there is some fictionalizing, and the makers did not do a commentary feature explaining what they made up. Also, it is rated PG for scenes of the Holocaust and of a dead child, as well as some language. Where those scenes come in is under "Notices."

Armie Hammer, Martin Landau, Jennifer O'Neill, Lindsay Wagner, Josh Turner. Scott Hamilton in a cameo appearance.

The best summary is the video, above. (There is a different video with the book "Billy: The Untold Story."


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