The Ultimate Gift

January 3rd, 2006


The Ultimate Gift

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Still of Bill Cobbs in The Ultimate GiftStill of Abigail Breslin in The Ultimate GiftStill of Drew Fuller and Abigail Breslin in The Ultimate GiftStill of James Garner in The Ultimate GiftStill of Brian Dennehy and Drew Fuller in The Ultimate GiftDrew Fuller in The Ultimate Gift

Jason thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise...

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 7.2/10 (7,191 voted)

Critic's Score: 49/100

Director: Michael O. Sajbel

Stars: Drew Fuller, James Garner, Abigail Breslin

Jason thought his inheritance was going to be the gift of money and lots of it. Was he ever in for a big surprise. Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, the story sends trust fund baby Jason Stevens on an improbable journey of discovery, having to answer the ultimate question: "What is the relationship between wealth and happiness?" Jason had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard "Red" Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole "reading of the will" thing would be another simple cash transaction, that his Grandfather's money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life...

Writers: Cheryl McKay, Jim Stovall

James Garner - Howard 'Red' Stevens
Bill Cobbs - Mr. Theophilus Hamilton
Lee Meriwether - Miss Hastings
George Lee - Pastor (as George Lee Masters)
Brett Rice - Bill Stevens
D. David Morin - Jack Stevens
Abigail Breslin - Emily Rose
Ali Hillis - Alexia
Drew Fuller - Jason Stevens
Mircea Monroe - Caitlin
Donna Cherry - Sarah Stevens
Catherine McGoohan - Ruth Stevens
Mark Joy - Bill's Lawyer
Mel Fair - Jack's Lawyer
Alecia Brady Curcuru - Bill's Wife

Taglines: Life is how you live it... not how you spend it.


Official Website: Fox Faith Movies [United States] | Official site |

Release Date: 3 Jan 2006

Filming Locations: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Opening Weekend: $1,241,079 (USA) (11 March 2007) (816 Screens)

Gross: $3,438,735 (USA) (20 May 2007)

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA:

Did You Know?

James Garner (Red Stevens) claims that this will be his final film.

Continuity: At the scene between Emily and Jason in the hospital chapel, Emily's head changes between shots at the point when she says, "So, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?" The timing of the line's execution gives away the discontinuity.

Jason Stevens: I don't know much about God or Jesus, but I can promise you His arms are meant for you!

User Review

Truly Moving Picture


I am a judge for the Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival. This feature film is a Crystal Heart Award Winner and is eligible to be the Grand Prize Winner in October of 2006. The Heartland Film Festival is a non-profit organization that honors Truly Moving Pictures. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life."

This is a story of a very rich dysfunctional family. Red Stevens (James Garner) is a crusty, old billionaire who dies suddenly in an air crash. But, Red has planned for his death carefully. He has videotaped an elaborate will. His spoiled and unappealing adult children receive enough to be set for life, but the status of the bulk of the estate remains a mystery. For his grandchild, Jason (Drew Fuller) , Red has special and unknown plans. Jason, by the way, is the ultimate rich-kid, lazy, shallow brat. Through Red's lawyer, Jason is given a number of elaborate, time-consuming tasks and challenges that Red calls "gifts." There are many of these "gifts."

The viewer has the distinct impression that these will either make Jason or break Jason. While doing these tasks in order to get an anticipated pot-of-gold, Jason is mentored and guided and even loved by a Texas rancher (Brian Dennehy), a wise lawyer, a single mother (Alii Hillis), her young daughter (Abigail Breslin) who has leukemia, and an Ecuadorian guide. Jason can't make it without these true, unselfish friends.

The story plays out as a mystery. How many tasks are there? Will Jason tire of the time-consuming and dangerous tasks and quit? Why does Red choose Jason and not the many other numerous children and grandchildren? Is there a pot-of-gold at the end of these tasks? Why is everything shrouded in secrecy? It is profound and interesting storytelling. You want to know the answers to these questions.

As the film progresses, Jason begins to turn for the better, but you never know whether he will finally make it to become a fine human being; specifically, displaying traits like respect for others, sacrifice, heroism, humility, compassion, and fidelity. Or, will he go back to his playboy lifestyle? The acting in this film makes the storytelling believable.

The acting is outstanding and it is a toss-up whether the young people dominate your attention or the old people dominate your attention.

FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Crystal Heart Award winners as well as other Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.


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