Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Do You Remember...the one hour program entitled J.T. first broadcast in 1969 about a young boy and his unhealthy cat?
Few who have seen it will ever forget this emotional story of the young Harlem kid, J.T. Gamble, based on a book written by Jane Wagner. It was originally produced for the CBS Saturday morning Children’s Hour program but was also re-broadcast in primetime and has won the prestigious Peabody Award.
A troubled little boy living in the ghetto finds his connection to the world through a sickly cat he cares for in an abandoned building. As Christmas approaches, J.T.’s transistor radio is stolen and he’s chased by two bullies from the condemned building, only to witness his cat run over in the street by a car. A despondent J.T. is consoled by his visiting grandmother. Later at Christmas, the boy’s life is transformed when the neighborhood grocer gives J.T. a kitten and a chance at a new start. This story will warm the coldest of hearts. Lingering images include J.T. fixing a bed for the cat inside a broken down oven inside the abandoned building. I can't forget the compassion of the grocer's gift, offering the young boy a second chance for a special, nurturing relationship to endure a world that often seems cruel and unforgiving.
It stars actor Kevin Hooks as the young lead. Hooks is recognizable from his later role as Morris Thorpe, on the TV series The White Shadow and he currently works as a director for dramatic TV series including Lost, 24, Monk and Prison Break. The role of J.T.’s mother is played by actress Ja’net DuBois who also appeared as the upstairs neighbor, Willona on the ground breaking, 1970s sitcom, Good Times and more recently working as a voice actor on The PJs.
If you haven't seen this classic: Part One