The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

1 h 36 min2009PG
Dustin and his two best buddies are twelve year-olds looking forward to a summer of fun in 1970. When Dustin mows the lawn of seventy-five year old Jonathan Sperry (Gavin MacLeod), 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 high quality production with a great cast and message!
Rich Christiano
Gavin MacLeodJansen Panettiere
DramaFaith and Spirituality
English [CC]
Audio languages
Playing the video isn't supported on this device/operating system version. Please update or watch on Kindle Fire, mobile devices, game consoles, or other compatible devices.
Add to Watchlist
Add to
By ordering or viewing, you agree to our Terms. Sold by Services LLC.
Write review

More details

Five & Two Pictures / Christiano Film Group
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats


4.8 out of 5 stars

1018 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
Sorted by:

Top reviews from the United States

Kim BReviewed in the United States on April 26, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Our second copy
Verified purchase
This is our favorite movie.
If you grew up in the 70's you will enjoy this movie even more!
The clothes, cars, houses and inside of the houses bring back so many momeries!!
I didn't realize certain objects seemed to be in every home.

The explanations in this movie are awesome, the plot is wonderful!

We gave our copy to someone to watch and they never brought it back, so we broke down and bought another copy.

If you found my review helpful, please help me know by hitting the like button, so others can see it too.
28 people found this helpful
OC GoodgirlReviewed in the United States on July 12, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good Family Movie and Movie for Kids Clubs and Youth Groups
Verified purchase
I am very happy that I bought this movie. It is a wonderful family movie. Although it takes on serious subject matter, it remains entertaining and appropriate for children of all ages. Also, although It is fairly light, and characters are not well-developed, the story is told in a very engaging and relatable way. It exemplifies Christian virtue as lived-out amongst real-world challenges, and inspired me to reflect on ways that I could positively impact my own neighborhood. I've recently moved, and have some neighbors that are quite challenging. This movie was a timely reminder that we're called to love our enemies, love our neighbors, and that love is patient, kind, and forgiving. Grace is not earned, or deserved, and as we've received grace from God, we must be gracious to others. Easy to say, challenging to put into practice! I highly recommend this movie for family viewing, as well as viewing by kids clubs and youth groups. It's one that is good for starting conversations about the foregoing, as well as bullying, friendship, the concept of our lives' legacy, and more. I highly recommend this movie.
6 people found this helpful
Penny Zeller, Christian Author and SpeakerReviewed in the United States on July 13, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of the best family movies...
Verified purchase
Our entire family enjoyed 'this movie,' and I found it to be one of the best family movies of all time.

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry takes us back to 1970 when times were simpler, but forever a need to tell others about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The characters are very likeable and there are humorous parts dotted throughout. Here is a quick look at the main characters:

Dustin is raised by his mom after his father dies. He's thoughtful and kind and always ready to lend a helping hand.

Albert is a silly boy who struggles with keeping a tight reign on his tongue. He provides much comedic relief.

Mark is the braniac who seems to have knowledge far beyond his years.

Nick is a bully who is also being raised by his mom and who has no qualms about picking on Dustin and his friends.

We also meet Bailey, a girl whose father owns the cafe and whom Dustin has a crush.

Jonathan Sperry is a 75-year-old man who is active in his church and taught Mark's brother in Sunday School. He lives out his faith and allows God to use him to make an impact on the lives around him.

One of the things I loved most about Jonathan Sperry's character was that he actively lived out his faith. He wasn't preachy, yet he showed real-life examples for each lesson. I especially loved the lesson where the boys had to reach the $5 bill on the picnic table. The graveyard scene is also a scene full of impact that depicts the urgency in telling others about Christ.

Two of the boys in the movie grew up without fathers. What a wonderful example and mentor Jonathan Sperry was especially to those two boys. This movie had strong themes of redemption, faith, forgiveness, and kindness.

This is a heartwarming film for the entire family. While not preachy, it does share an important message. There is also nothing objectionable in the movie, and I highly recommend it!

I have added The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry to my Mom-Approved Family Movie list on my blog. A definite must-see and one of my favorite movies of all time!

Review by Penny Zeller, Author of "77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Ideas and Activities for Serving Others."
6 people found this helpful
Bruce SimonReviewed in the United States on July 24, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
True faith Comes Alive
Verified purchase
My wife and I watched "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" this afternoon. What we witnessed was an unforgettable story of a seventy five year old man Jonathan Sperry, who takes three adolescent boys under his wing and encourages them to commit their lives to a closer walk with Jesus Christ. Dustin, Mark and Albert are three friends in the summer of 1970, who are struggling with straddling that fine line between childhood and adulthood known as adolescence. Dustin, in particular, is feeling an attraction toward a pretty classmate, Tanya, while trying to stay out of the way of Nick, a bully, who delights in tormenting those he perceives are weaker and don't fight back.While mowing a neighbor's lawn, Dustin catches the eye of Jonathan Sperry, a widower, who invites Dustin at first to mow his lawn and then invites the three friends over for a Bible study. With simple life-changing biblical wisdom, Jonathan inspires the boys to apply the lessons of Jesus to their daily lives even to the point of interceding for their worst enemy, Nick.
This film conveys the beauty of Christian commitment in a simple, practical fashion. There is no droning intellectualism or self righteous condemnation. This movie is genuine in that Jonathan wants each boy to give their lives to Jesus and make a difference in someone's lives by their witness.Jonathan is a true mentor whose delight is expressed in the seeds of faith which he plants, waters and watches grow. Gavin Macleod is priceless as the venerable wise senior who dispenses faith as readily as homemade lemonade. Robert Guillaume is great as the crusty neighbor who is at first suspicious of peoples motives until his life changes.It is a joy to see each child grow in grace under the tutelage of a man, who loves unconditionally despite hardship and loss.It is a pleasure to see a movie which respects the Lord and is unashamed to give Him rightful glory. I would recommend this movie highly for the whole family to see.
16 people found this helpful
B. KingReviewed in the United States on March 13, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Must See for ALL!!
Verified purchase
[[ASIN:B003BJO8Q4 Secrets of Jonathan Sperry (Full Ac3)]] My husband and I came across the movie by pure circumstance as we were searching for something to do one afternoon. We immediately became intrigued by what we read about the movie and set out to see it in a town 40 minutes away. It was well worth the drive!! It is the best movie we had seen in a very long time. Our only regret was that our kids were not with us watching it too. It is the story of a boy learning to cope with a bully while really learning to cope with life as he learns about God and the Bible from an elderly man in the neighborhood. The lessons are subtle at first and a little more direct as the boy becomes more curious and seeks Mr.Sperry out more and more, along with his friends. But even at it's most direct this movie is not heavy handed in a religious aspect. It's more about seeing things and people in our lives from another perspective ... one we might not ever find if we do not seek it out.
175 people found this helpful
David H. HannemanReviewed in the United States on December 7, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Christian movie, set in the 70's
Verified purchase
If you don't like Christian movies you won't like this, but I still recommend it to you anyways! No cursing, kids who respect their parents (mostly) and an intriguing story with a nice plot twist at the end. The story is about a boy who is befriended by an older neighbor, who teaches him about Faith and helps him deal with some of the problems of growing up - dating, bullies, and how to earn some extra money. I thought the movie was a nice family movie with a simple message, right up to the end. Then they throw a plot twist in with one little comment. I won't tell you what it is, but with that one comment you come to realize just how strong Mr Sperry's faith is.
3 people found this helpful
Only1MommaReviewed in the United States on June 1, 2010
5.0 out of 5 stars
Just fantastic.......WOW!
Verified purchase
What can I say about The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry. I watched it on netflix and It is one of the most inspirational films I have ever watched. It is a story about how one man can make a difference in many lives. Sounds like many other films you seen? Well not this one....
It makes you want to be that person that inspires, It gives hope. It makes you want to share the bible to more people in even the most subtle ways.

It bares the lessons that even though some people are resistant to God and his word, acts of kindness although rejected can and do prevail as the doors to the hearts of those that have kept their hearts chained up for so long...

The setting of this movie makes you long to live in a simpler time in history...

This is a MUST see.
17 people found this helpful
RosieBReviewed in the United States on August 17, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Someone tell me if this is about real people.
Verified purchase
LOVE this movie, my 3 and 5 yr old actually watched the whole thing. much so that I just keep asking myself is this based on a true story? Does anyone know if this is? It's very confusing because at the beginning they say it's fictional, but at the end they give birth and death dates for Jonathan and go through each character giving information about what happened to them after the movie. Not just one or two characters but ALL the main characters as if they are real people. I've never seen a film do this except in the case of real people. If this is fictional in whole, not just in parts (like perhaps some of the incidents did not happen) that would be the only and biggest drawback of the film.
One person found this helpful
See all reviews