The makers of The Prodigal believe it will.

The Prodigal, a new dramatic feature film from World Wide Pictures, is being released nationwide this month. Communications expert Mel White interviewed the two men most responsible for creation of this cinematic vehicle for evangelism. James Collier, who both wrote and directed The Prodigal, has directed World Wide films since 1966, including the widely acclaimed screen story of Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place. He also wrote the screenplays for Joni. The Restless Ones, and His Land. Producer Ken Wales is a minister’s son who was an actor before he began producing films in 1964, working with Blake Edwards. He has produced such motion pictures as The Tamarind Seed, and television specials, including the award-winning miniseries of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Collier and Wales were interviewed separately. CT edited and combined the two interviews for this story.

Describe your involvement with World Wide Pictures.

COLLIER: The first film I wrote with Dick Ross was The Heart Is a Rebel, which was built around Billy Graham’s 1957 New York crusade and the one Ethel Waters made. When Ross moved on, in 1966, World Wide gave me a chance to direct. I had always wanted to follow a family after the crusade had left town, and the result was For Pete’s Sake—Pete Harper. I still love that film.

But when the picture was screened at the Director’s Guild Theater, I remember friends coming and giving me that look; it was too much for them The one thing you can never completely have is the respect of your peers. There seems to be hostility toward having deep light in a film. There are friends I don’t invite to see my work anymore because we [both] know they’re going to hate it, and I’m going to get ...

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