Great Expectations (1989)

This epic mini series follows the fortunes of young Pip, from a simple act of kindness to an escaped convict, then the invitations of a strange old woman to play with her cold and cruel ward, to his sudden windfall of an inheritance that raises him up to a place in society that he only had dreamt of.

The myriad of colorful characters that he meets along the way are a testament to the brilliant story writing of Charles Dickens as well as the screenwriter who adapted this tome of a book.

5hr. 0min.

In Love & War (2001)

After a mission has gone wrong, British solider Eric Newby (Callum Blue) is captured in WWII Italy.  When Italy is about to be liberated, he and his fellow captives are set to be moved but he injures his ankle and is left behind. He is then taken under the wing of the Italian citizens who hide him. Their kindness and courage in helping him changes his life, as does the love of a lovely Italian girl.

Based on a true story.

1hr. 38min.

Follow the Stars Home (2001)

Dianne (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) is swept off her feet by suave Mark (Eric Close) but their marital bliss is cut short when they find out the baby they are expecting is going to have major health issues.  Mark leaves Dianne to have the baby on her own.  Dianne is assisted by her mother and David (Campbell Scott) in raising her daughter Julia.  She also finds an unexpected friend in young Amy (Alexa Vega) who is the only one able to communicate with Julia.

This poignant drama has a lot to say about love, forgiveness and what truly makes a family.

1hr. 43min.

Borrowed Hearts (1997)

When Kathleen (Roma Downey) and her daughter Zoey (Sarah Rosen Fruitman) literally stumble into the home of Sam (Eric McCormack) it’s perfect timing; he’s a business man who’s client and potential buyer for his company is coming into town and expects Sam to be a family man.  The plan is to pay Kathleen to have her and her daughter pose as his family for a week.  Things get more complicated when the client (Hector Elizondo) extends his stay and is constantly having them do things together, as a family.

1hr. 31min.

The Love Letter (1998)

When historian Scott (Campbell Scott) impulsively buys an antique civil war era writing desk, his fiance thinks he’s a little crazy.  Later, while cleaning the desk he finds in a hidden compartment a love letter written by a lonely poet Elizabeth (Jennifer Jason Leigh) from over a hundred years before.  Inspired by the beauty and longing in her letter he writes back and with a little help from his free-spirit mother (she supplies him with authentic paper, ink and stamp) the letter finds it’s way to Elizabeth.  Knowing they will never be able to meet, they continue writing to each other.  Then, the impossible happens in this poignant romance.

1hr. 39min.

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

In this adaption of Charles Dicken’s Christmas classic, the lovably near-sighted Mr. Magoo (Jim Backus) takes on the role of Scrooge, who one fateful night must re-live the ups and downs of his life in order to change his future.

Filled with humor and touching moments, this short film manages to hit all the right notes in this tale of redemption.

53min.

Run the Wild Fields (2000)

Near the end of WWII, Ruby (Joanne Whalley) and her daughter Opal “Pug” (Alexa Vega) have been waiting for Ruby’s husband to return from the South Pacific after being reported missing in action three years before.  They help an injured drifter named Tom (Sean Patrick Flanery) and he in turn helps them to bring their farm back to life.  His mysterious past makes him the subject of gossip in the small town. It’s soon apparent that Tom easily fills the gap in Ruby’s and Pug’s lives, but as the war comes to an end their future becomes more uncertain in this poignant tale.

1hr. 41min.

A Storm in Summer (2000)

Peter Falk stars as crotchety Abel Shaddick, owner of a delicatessen in a small town in Upstate New York. Through the thoughtless actions of his bum of a nephew, Andrew McCarthy, Abel finds himself responsible for young Herman Washington (Aaron Meeks) for two weeks.

The two have experienced plenty of prejudice and hate in their lives and at first turn some of their anger on each other.  When they realize that they (although being separated by age) have a lot in common with each other, they forge a friendship that neither one of them would have thought was possible.

1hr. 34min.

The Inheritance (1997)

Edith Adelon (Cari Shayne) is the young companion of Amy, daughter of the kindly Hamiltons (Meredith Baxter and Tom Conti).  The family treat her as one of their own, as they live on their New England estate.

Into their lives come two people that will change their quiet existence forever; greedy and manipulative Ida Glenshaw (Brigid Brannagh) and kind and charming James Percy (Thomas Gibson). Despite the difference in their social circumstances Edith and James find themselves falling in love.

Based on Louisa May Alcott’s unpublished first novel, this story showed the future promise of her talent at drawing believable and memorable characters.

1hr. 35min.