When his father got a new job, Terry O'Kelley (Ricky Schroder - Lonesome Dove), along with his six younger brothers and his mother, moved to live with their Paw Paw (Donald Moffat - Who Will Love My Children?). But knowing full well that his mother was very sick Terry makes her the promise that if she dies he will make sure that the family stays together and that he will look after them. Fortunately when his mum dies Paw Paw provides all the support he can whilst Terry works every hour he can to provide for his brothers. Things become even more difficult when Paw Paw passes away and Terry's father, as executor of his will, starts selling off the farm despite Paw Paw having promised it and his money to Terry and his brothers. Now Terry has to work even harder and take on even more responsibility despite being just a teenager. Fortunately there are others in the community who believe in Terry's commitment to his brothers and try to help him keep the family together.
One of my favourite made for TV movies is "Gracie's Choice: A Story of Love" as it tells the touching story of a teenage girl who does everything she can to keep her family together when her mother keeps on letting them down. But before "Gracie's Choice: A Story of Love" there was this movie, "A Son's Promise", which tells a similar story as we watch Terry, a teenager, do everything he can to try and keep his family together. And yes "A Son's Promise" is another made for TV which is based on a true story.
Now I am not going to go in to too much detail as to what happens in "A Son's Promise" but will say what we get is the rollercoaster of ups and downs for Terry. As such where in one scene we may see something good happen to Terry as he gets a chance of promotion and more money we then get another where the increase in money means he is no longer allowed food stamps and a knock on effect leads to him and his brothers ending up in front of the judge. Of course I am sure you can guess how "A Son's Promise" is going to end up but it certainly delivers plenty of ups and downs along the way especially with the boy's father abandoning them.
What is clear is that "A Son's Promise" is Ricky Schroder's movie and he delivers the head strong tendencies of his character and the frustration that Terry feels when he feels like decisions are being taken away from him when it comes to his brothers. He really conveys that mix of being naive but also determined to keep his word even if it kills him to do so.
What this all boils down to is that "A Son's Promise" is one of those moving true story movies about a young man and everything he did to try and keep his brothers together despite facing one obstacle after another. Yes there is a certain element of predictability to it but it also a wholesome side which makes it both entertaining and charming.