8.3/10
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Papa Was a Preacher (1985)

A minister, his wife and their large family are moved from Dallas to a needy rural church in 1950s Texas.

Director:

Steve Feke

Writers:

Steve Feke, Alyene Porter (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Pine ... 'Papa' Porter
Georgia Engel ... 'Mama' Porter
Dean Stockwell ... John
Imogene Coca ... Missy B
Dallas Benton Dallas Benton ... Hugh
Scott Wilder Scott Wilder ... Cecil
Melora Hardin ... Janette
Brandon Douglas ... Raybon (as Brandon Sokolosky)
Gerrod Miskovsky Gerrod Miskovsky ... Edd
Jason Hillhouse Jason Hillhouse ... Gil
Gennie James ... Alyene
Joshua Butts Joshua Butts ... Paul
Stephanie Dunnam ... Kate Tucker
Rodger Boyce ... Mr. Granger
Jerry Haynes ... Jack Murphy
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Storyline

A minister, his wife and their large family are moved from Dallas to a needy rural church in 1950s Texas.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

19 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Ferris, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rosie Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Back in Line Again
Written by Ken Sutherland
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Touching View of the life of a Pastor's Family
11 May 2003 | by bpwinregSee all my reviews

This thoroughly enjoyable film, set in the 1950's in Texas, is a touching look (based on Alyene Porter's book of the same name) into one year in the life of a pastor's family. If you have ever wondered what these homeland missionaries are really all about, this movie will give you an appreciation for the challenge of this kind of life. Alyene describes her home as "a place where love lived", a description of her life as a pastor's kid portrayed here with care.

Edwin Porter (Robert Pine), a Methodist minister for over seventy years, is sent (by his bishop) to a little church in the little town of Sterling, TX. The church is in financial trouble, and Porter is called there to try to save it. The move is sudden, and is complicated by the fact that Porter's wife (Georgia Engel) and eight(!) children (highlighted by Gennie James as Alyene) are all very comfortable in the large, successful church they have been serving in Dallas. The story of their arrival in Sterling, meeting the church matriarch Missy B (played with charm by Immogene Coca), the banker Jack Murphy (Jerry Haynes) and the challenge at hand is warm, funny, and inspirational.

Special treats include the revivalist Billy Kilgore (Peter Gerety) and his soloist Claudie Walker (Laird Stuart), the shopkeeper Mr. Granger (Rodger Boyce), and the town drunk John White (Dean Stockwell) whose life will hold surprises for all. Each of the children becomes a well-developed character, from Hugh (Dallas Benton), the wise older brother already in seminary at S.M.U., to little Paul (Joshua Butts), who steals several scenes. We learn each of their life-paths at the end of the film. I left the film feeling as if I knew these people well.

The quality casting, depth, and authenticity of the film is truly unusual for a small production, and stands out as one of my favorite films ever.

"Papa was a Preacher" is currently out-of-print, but if you can find it, you will be rewarded.


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