Film Evangelism: A Time To Change
Wealthy Warren Cole, society mother Fran, teen-age son Jeff, and Miss Pollyanna Christian, Michelle, Jeff’s girlfriend, are the main characters in Time to Run, a new film produced by World Wide Pictures. Thematically there has been little change since the filming of The Restless Ones: characters, plot, and outcome are quite similar. But there are some differences in the execution of this film. The changes are intended to bridge the evangelical culture gap and help the film appeal to the general movie-going public.
In World Wide’s newest film, the young Christians attend not churches but rock concerts on Sunday afternoons. Jeff’s parents don’t become Christians, though Jeff, played by Randall Carver, does. The traditional visit to a Billy Graham crusade with parents and son going forward is missing. Instead, Jeff picks up two Jesus people going to a Graham meeting. As he sits in the crusade parking lot eating an orange and listening to the evangelist over the loudspeaker, his parents watch the same sermon on television. The camera switches from Jeff and his orange to Graham and his message. At the invitation Jeff drives off and his parents turn off their set. This realistic touch does not entirely compensate for the contrived effect of introducing the crusade scenes in the first place. There ought to be a way to present the biblical message without the telltale “And now a word from our sponsor …”
Writer Allan Sloane built the plot and title around Francis Thompson’s poem, “The Hound of Heaven.” As the movie opens, Michelle, a college student played by Barbara Sigel, is reading the poem to unbeliever Jeff:
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
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