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The Greatest Gift

holvak julie harris town

(NBC, 11/4/1974, 120 mins). An impoverished small town preacher struggles to provide for his family while leading a dwindling congregation, battling restless church deacons and standing up to a bullying sheriff in a small southern town in 1940. The subsequent short lived series, “The Family Holvak” (Sept. Nov. 1975), reteamed Glenn Ford, Julie Harris and Lance Kerwin but was moved back in time to theDepression days. Although Abby Mann wrote the teleplay, adapting Jack Farris’ novel “Ramey,” he apparently had his name removed and the screen credit goes to Ben Goodman.

Production Company Universal Television. Director Boris Sagal. Producer Dean Hargrove. Teleplay Abby Mann. Based on a Novel by Jack Farris. Photography Stevan Larner. Music Dick DeBenedictis. Song “Look How Far We’ve Come” by Bill Dyer, Dick DeBenedictis. Song Performed by Denny Brooks. Editors Douglas Stewart, Howard Epstein. Art Director Bill Caplan. Associate Producer John Choy.

Cast Glenn Ford (The Reverend Holvak), Julie Harris (Elizabeth Holvak), Lance Kerwin (Ramey Holvak), Harris Yulin (Hog Yancy), Charles Tyner (Amos Goodloe), Dabbs Greer (Deacon Hurd), Carl Anne Warder (Julie Mae Holvak), Albert Smith (Eli Wiggins), Furman Walters (Willis Graham), Leslie Thorsen (Tincey Bell), Elsie Travis (Mrs. Goodloe), Ken Renard (Abraham Morrison), J. Don Ferguson (Jim Friedkin), Burt Douglas (Narrator), Bob Hannah (Emmet Poston), Don Devendorf (Brent), Thomas Hilliard (Harold Biglow), Lewell Akins (Hap), Doris Pearse (Mrs. Pradley).

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