The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

2008 PG 1h 36m DVD

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

2008 PG 1h 36m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
The lives of three 12-year-old buddies -- sharing a carefree existence in the summer of 1970 -- suddenly change when one of them, Dustin (Jansen Panettiere), makes an unexpected friend after cutting the lawn of 75-year-old Jonathan Sperry (Gavin MacLeod). As Jonathan shares lessons in faith with Dustin and his pals (Frankie Ryan Manriquez and Allen Isaacson), a spiritual transformation occurs in this Christian drama helmed by Rich Christiano.
Jansen Panettiere, Gavin MacLeod, Robert Guillaume, Frankie Ryan Manriquez, Allen Isaacson, Taylor Boggan, Mary Jean McAdams, Bailey Garno, Kristina Jewell, Cameron Bloomer, Tommy Pasko, Eva Mancarella, Dina Corsetti, Peter Doyle
Rich Christiano
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 11+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 11+
age 11+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry is a straightforward Christian message film which promotes faith in God and Jesus, living in accordance with the teachings of The Bible, and the power of forgiveness. Set in 1970, the story involves a bully, a young boy's first crush, and the formative religious awakening of a group of 13-year-olds. It's focused on boys and their adult male mentors, leaving the only two featured female characters very much in the background. A sympathetic African-American man (the only person of color in the film) turns out to have had a troubled past. Spoiler alert: Near the end of the movie the unexpected death of a principal character impacts everyone.

Sexual Content

Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Social Behavior

This movie's intent is to encourage belief and participation in the tenets of Christianity. The film's opening frame declares: "The following story is fictional and was created to show how one person's faith may inspire others." Many religious messages follow, delivered by a kindly older man and later by the boys he influences: "The Lord is interested in everything in our lives"; "Everything in the Bible is there to make our lives better"; "Love your enemies; Do good to them that hate you," and more. There are multiple references to death, Heaven, and Hell.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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