Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Billy: The Early Years Of Billy Graham

posted by Nell Minow

Before he was the best-known clergyman in America and a spiritual adviser to Presidents, Billy Graham was a young man struggling with doubt and searching for a way to be of service. This sensitive and respectful film about Billy Graham’s early years stars Armie Hammer as Graham.

I spoke to Hammer about the challenges of taking on the role of a man people know so well.

How did you come to this project?

One day my agent called and said, “I have your next movie. That’s all you need to know.” I fell madly in love with it, knew i had to do it. The next thing I knew, I was in Billy Graham world.

it was the approach i responded do. i knew who he was the way every one else on the planet knows, but this was the human, how he found his faith, how his faith was shaken, how the love of his life was given and almost taken away. We start at the beginning and end when Billy Graham the preacher eclipse Billy Graham the person.

What are the challenges and pitfalls of portraying a real person who has inspired so much respect and affection?

You want to be so careful and pay respect to the Grahams, make something they like and love, and give them the most honest and real portrayal so they can say, “I remember that, I said that.”

I studied his autobiography, Just As I Am. It was an amazing tool for me to use. I also used the internet where you can see private, personal videos that show how he was when he was not preaching. His preaching was his signature enthusiasm but I wanted to see what he was like when he was just talking, where you see his personality.

What made Graham so special?

It was definitely his blind faith — the fact that he whole-heartedly without question or doubt at all found his beliefs and did not waver. He was so human and could take the gospel and make it accessible. He would not say he was the smartest person in the world but he had the gift of faith. In this story, he and Templeton go through a crisis of faith but react differently.

His approachability and simplicity was what made him so good at communicating with people. He is the most honest and good human being that ever walked this planet. He never had a scandal because he did not have a scandalous bone in his body. He created the Modesto manifesto to make sure that he and his men could withstand temptation. He called them together and said, “Ministers are falling to the left and right. What we have to say is too important. Go to your room for an hour and think about what it is that is the cause of these ministers’ downfall.” They all had the same things on the list — sex, money, pride, lying. He said, “Here is what we will do. We will have an outside firm to do the money, none of us will ever be alone in a room with a woman, we will never lie about our numbers of followers or criticize others.” Those are the kinds of decisions that made him unique.



Previous Posts

Thursdays in September on Turner Classic Movies: The Jewish Experience on Film
This month, TCM has an excellent series of films about the Jewish experience, every Thursday. TCM proudly presents The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a weekly showcase of movies focusing on Jewish history and heritage as portrayed onscreen. Co-hosting the films each Thursday is D

posted 9:21:56pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Start the School Year With a No-Screen Week
A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids.  Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them.  Psyblog described the study, which s

posted 3:56:33pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

COMING THIS MONTH: September 2014 Movies
Happy September!  There isn't much new in theaters this Friday, but next week things start to pick up. Here's the best of what's coming in theaters this month: September 12: "Dolphin Tale 2"  This sequel to the endearing fact-based "Dolphin Tale" brings back stars Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Fr

posted 8:00:52am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Labor Day 2014: Movies About Unions
Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for this real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45CX8W9peTs[/youtube] Doris Day plays

posted 7:00:42am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Summer Summer-y: The Summer Movies of 2014
A few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014: A good summer for food movies: "The Chef," "The 100-Foot Journey," and "The Trip to Italy" had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention of the delicious French comedy "Le Chef," starring Jean Reno, as

posted 3:46:47pm Aug. 31, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.