Best buddies Dustin, Albert and Mark 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, 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.
A Christian family film about faith and forgiveness, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry
is a leisurely paced story concerning an elderly man who shares his faith with a young boy and how that simple act helps shape the lives of many. The movie is set in the simpler times of the summer of 1970. Dustin is a respectful 12-year-old boy who mows lawns for the neighbors, has just developed his first crush on a girl, and is spending the summer hanging out with his two good friends Albert and Mark. When elderly neighbor Mr. Sperry asks Dustin if he'll start mowing his lawn, Dustin gladly agrees, and soon Mr. Sperry begins sharing the Bible and his faith with Dustin. Before long, Dustin and his friends find themselves enjoying regular Bible study at Mr. Sperry's home. Through gentle words and engaging activities, Mr. Sperry helps Dustin and his friends discover how faith and the Bible can improve their lives, not only in the broadest sense, but also with some very specific lessons about forgiveness, problem solving, and even effectively dealing with bullying. This film delivers a wholesome message about faith and seeing things from another's point of view, but the pace is deliberately slow and the complete absence of normal preadolescent energy may well cause some contemporary viewers to lose interest. Gavin MacLeod and Jansen Panettiere give solid performances as Jonathan Sperry and Dustin, respectively, and it's great to see Robert Guillaume in a highly effective appearance as Mr. Sperry's neighbor Mr. Barnes. Bonus features include a 39-minute behind-the-scenes featurette with Gavin McLeod, director Rich Christiano, and producer Chad Gunderson; a full-length commentary with Rich Christiano and Gavin McLeod; a look at the various houses used in the film; interview footage with composer Jasper Randall; a special message from director Rich Christiano about his own faith; and contact information for related ministries. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi