One Man's Way


1h 45m 1964
One Man's Way

Brief Synopsis

The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale fights to bring his message to the nation.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Biography
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Kansas City, Missouri, opening: 26 Feb 1964
Production Company
Frank Ross Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Norman Vincent Peale; Minister to Millions by Arthur Gordon (Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1958).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Norman Vincent Peale determines never to become a clergyman because of the insults he has suffered as the son of a smalltown Ohio minister. He changes his mind when, years later, as a Detroit crime reporter, he becomes frustrated by his inability to relieve much of the suffering and misfortune he reports. He enters a seminary and is there regarded as a rebel because he believes in a God of love rather than of vengeance, but his zeal increases church attendance wherever he preaches. In Syracuse he convinces pretty co-ed Ruth Stafford that the life of a minister's wife can be exciting; and after their honeymoon he accepts a position at New York City's Marble Collegiate Church. His methods and preachings are criticized as his fame grows; but through radio, articles in magazines, and a syndicated newspaper column he develops his thesis that God helps those who help themselves. With the publication of his book The Power of Positive Thinking , the condemnation of his theological attitudes reaches new heights; and he is about to resign from his pulpit when an experience with a critically ill child, who is given no chance for survival by medical science but nevertheless rallies after Peale keeps a night-long prayer vigil, renews his faith in all he has written and preached. He decides to remain with his church.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Biography
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Kansas City, Missouri, opening: 26 Feb 1964
Production Company
Frank Ross Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Norman Vincent Peale; Minister to Millions by Arthur Gordon (Englewood Cliffs, N. J., 1958).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White

Articles

One Man's Way


The author of the bestselling The Power of Positive Thinking is the subject of this Hollywood biopic, which stars Don Murray as Norman Vincent Peale, a Detroit crime reporter turned Protestant preacher whose canny co-option of mass media gave him a celebrity status on par with Aimee Semple McPherson and the Reverend Billy Graham. A conscientious objector during the Korean War, Don Murray parlayed his Academy Award nomination for Bus Stop (1956) into an opportunity to produce and star in The Hoodlum Priest (1960), which chronicled the founding of Dismas House, the nation's first halfway house for rehabilitated prison parolees. Directed by Denis Sanders, whose War Hunt (1962) had provided Robert Redford with an early featured role, One Man's Way benefits from Murray's charismatic central performance but also from the winning support of William Windham (as Peale's clergyman father), Folgers coffee pitchlady Virginia Christina (as Peale's mother), Broadway transplant Diana Hyland (as the sorority girl who becomes Peale's supportive wife) and, in bits, The Dick Van Dyke Show's Ann Morgan Guilbert, a pre-Munsters' Butch Patrick, and Alien (1979) costars Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright. Peale's problematic real life anti-Catholic beliefs (he was a vocal opponent of the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy) are sidestepped here in favor of his central message of positive thinking and the initial backlash that made the "minster to millions" a cause celébrè.

By Richard Harland Smith
One Man's Way

One Man's Way

The author of the bestselling The Power of Positive Thinking is the subject of this Hollywood biopic, which stars Don Murray as Norman Vincent Peale, a Detroit crime reporter turned Protestant preacher whose canny co-option of mass media gave him a celebrity status on par with Aimee Semple McPherson and the Reverend Billy Graham. A conscientious objector during the Korean War, Don Murray parlayed his Academy Award nomination for Bus Stop (1956) into an opportunity to produce and star in The Hoodlum Priest (1960), which chronicled the founding of Dismas House, the nation's first halfway house for rehabilitated prison parolees. Directed by Denis Sanders, whose War Hunt (1962) had provided Robert Redford with an early featured role, One Man's Way benefits from Murray's charismatic central performance but also from the winning support of William Windham (as Peale's clergyman father), Folgers coffee pitchlady Virginia Christina (as Peale's mother), Broadway transplant Diana Hyland (as the sorority girl who becomes Peale's supportive wife) and, in bits, The Dick Van Dyke Show's Ann Morgan Guilbert, a pre-Munsters' Butch Patrick, and Alien (1979) costars Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright. Peale's problematic real life anti-Catholic beliefs (he was a vocal opponent of the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy) are sidestepped here in favor of his central message of positive thinking and the initial backlash that made the "minster to millions" a cause celébrè. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

"Ohio" exteriors filmed in Pasadena, California. Marble Collegiate Reformed Church sequences filmed in New York City.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1964

Released in United States 1964