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The Thief - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 30 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John Clayton, (Director) ; Ernest Pendrell, (Screenwriter) ; Mike - Bryan Russell, (cast) ; Frank - Luke Ellis, (cast) ; Mother - B.J. Robillard, (cast) ; Grogan - Richard Capp, (cast) ; Reid - Jonathan Troy, (cast) ; Clerk - Eddie Schaff, (cast) ; Customer - Gordon Bruce, (cast)
Disappearing books are a problem at the school library. Mr. Grogan, the librarian, is asked by the principal to check students' briefcases before they leave. Frank Denham accidentally discovers Mike Rogers, a prize student, taking a book and accuses him of stealing it. Mike denies the accusation and runs away. That evening, as Mike is reading to his mother, they are interrupted. Frank enters the Rogers's home on the pretense that Mike has promised to help him with his homework. Frank decides to blackmail Mike into stealing a radio from the hi-fi store. Mike has to decide how he should respond.
Topics: stealing
ID: BT-019-thief

The Other Choice - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John T. Coyle, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; Billy - Calvin Water, (cast) ; Rick - Lawrence Provost, (cast) ; Joe - Marc Sullivan, (cast) ; Mr. Scranton - John McGovern, (cast) ; Lester - Jackie Pilversack, (cast)
Rick becomes angry because his younger brother, Billy, ruins his new kite. Later Billy and his friend, Lester, playfully throw clods of dirt at each other. Rick and his friend, Joe, decide this is a good chance to get even with the younger boys for ruining the kite and join in the dirt fight. Rick and Joe end up throwing tomatoes from Mr.Scranton's garden and they trample his vines. When Mr. Scranton comes out to see what is happening he confronts Joe while Rick escapes. Joe takes the blame while Rick wonders what he should do.

ID: BT-014-choice

Big Deal - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John T. Coyle, (Director) ; Ben Logan, (Screenwriter) ; Pete - Paul Robertson, (cast) ; Tony - Marc Sullivan, (cast) ; Uncle Fred - Elliott Sullivan, (cast) ; Walt - Addison Powell, (cast)
Pete has two big deals going on at once. He has a motor that his friend Tony needs for a boat model he is entering in a hobby show, and he wants to prevent another boy from entering a better model in the show. Pete trades his motor in exchange for Tony's new watch and they hide the better boat. That night, Pete tells his Uncle Fred about the dilemma, who tells him since the other boy was "cheating," hiding his model was okay. At dinner, Fred and Pete's dad get into an argument about honesty and ethics. Pete's father tries to help him understand that a person is honest as a person, not as someone with or without money. Pete then returns Tony's watch and they decide not to steal the boat.
Topics: Business; Ethics; Honesty; Responsibility
ID: BT-011-deal

Shorty - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John Clayton, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; David McGill - Patrick O'Shaughnessy, (cast) ; Matt McGill - Jimmy Egan, (cast) ; Bill McGill - Lawrence Provost, (cast) ; Mr. McGill - Gerald Hiken, (cast) ; Coach Nelson - Robert Burr, (cast)
Shorty, a slight built young boy, and a much larger boy are wrestling in the school gym. It is obvious that Shorty will not win the match, but he gives it his all. He aspires to be “all American.” Bill and Coach Nelson try to tell him that weight is not as important as leverage, skill, endurance and the will to win. They suggest that Shorty play baseball rather than tryout for the football team as he plans to. Shorty is furious at that suggestion and tells Bill to let the other boys know he can do anything they can do! Younger brother, Matt is also small for his age. After seeing an advertisement for exercise equipment guaranteed to make you bigger and stronger, they approach their dad for an advance in their allowance to order it. Their dad surprises them by purchasing a stretching device that builds muscles. Shorty works out daily preparing to tryout for the football team. Coach Nelson tells him he is one of the last two boys that could be chosen. The other boy is a good kicker and the team needs him. The coach gently talks with Shorty and mentions that he has a need for assistant managers and should he know someone interested, they should see him. Shorty is not chosen for the team. Though very disappointed with the news, he and Matt decide to see the coach about being the assistant managers. In the end, Shorty faces up to what he can and can’t do.
Topics: Compromise; Disappointment
ID: BT-008-shorty

Footprints on the Wall - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John T. Coyle, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; Jerry - Flip Mark, (cast) ; Sally - Irene Strom, (cast) ; John - Glenn Walken, (cast) ; Aunt Mary - Margaret Henderson, (cast)
The drama opens with John and his sister, Sally having a discussion about science and God and their relationship to the creation of the world. Aunt Mary admonishes them to place their emphasis on “finding God, not trying to disprove him.” John is fascinated with how old the world really is. He examines fossils and geodes which tell him that the world is possibly millions of years old. Together with their younger brother, Jerry, the three go rock hunting. Jerry, wanders off, finds a cave and discovers a large paw print on the wall. John and Sally search for Jerry and find him at the cave entrance. Excitedly they examine the print and feel sure it is from the ancient dinosaur days. The drama suggests that science and the creation story do not need to be in conflict. (The children on the panel display an exceptional level of maturity in discussing this film.)
Topics: Creation; Science
ID: BT-007-footprints

The Genuine Diamond Ring - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John T. Coyle, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; Ellie - Francie Myers, (cast) ; Mike - Wayne Robertson, (cast) ; Diane - Michele Farr, (cast) ; June - Robin Kearns, (cast) ; Miss Freeman - Carol Doughty, (cast)
Ellie is jealous of Diane's doll collection. She convinces herself that a cheap ring her brother, Mike, found is a genuine diamond ring and takes it to school to show the other girls. The ring is accidentally dropped and rolls into the locker room drain. When the ring is recovered, Miss Freeman, the teacher, sees that it isn't real. She understands Ellie's disappointment and tells her the other girls won't have to know unless Ellie wants to tell them. Miss Freeman allows Ellie to go home early. When June and Diane come to Ellie's house to bring her books from school Ellie has to decide what to tell them about the ring.

ID: BT-017-diamond

The Goof - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John Clayton, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; Ted - Luke Halpin, (cast) ; Pam - Joanne Fraser, (cast) ; Henry - Philip Fox, (cast) ; Mr. Clayborne - George L. Smith, (cast) ; Allen - Geoffrey Albert, (cast)
Ted and his twin sister, Pam raise hamsters. One day while caring for them, they were talking about the championship baseball game scheduled for that afternoon. Ted was the captain of the team. Mr. Clayborne, the coach, dropped by to tell Ted that because of injuries and absent team members, Henry Robinson would be playing right field. This was terrible news for Ted and Pam since Henry, “the goof” was known for his antics and showing off. Henry arrived, glove-in-hand, and shouting cheers for the team. Ted and Pam shook their heads in disgust and uttered verbal insults. Henry called the hamsters rats and the threesome parted ways not noticing that Mr. Brown, their beloved hamster, had gotten out of its cage which Pam had forgotten to latch. Henry lived up to his reputation at the game. He did not catch any balls hit to right field. The bases were loaded with the score tied and the final hit went to right field. Ted indicated that he had it. Henry and Ted collided and the ball was dropped; the other team won the game. Dejected and angry the kids were consoled by the coach. He tried to tell them that no one felt worse than Henry for losing the game. He suggested that they try harder to be a real friend to Henry. When they got home they found Henry at Mr. Brown’s empty cage and accused him of letting the hamster out. Henry denied it and said he had come to feed Mr. Brown a piece of lettuce. Henry spotted Mr. Brown in the bushes and coaxed him with the lettuce. He was so happy when he came to him, stroking him with affection. He asked the twins if they would teach him how to raise hamsters and for a few moments it seemed that if they all really tried, perhaps they could be friends.
Topics: Attention-seeking; Interpersonal relationships
ID: BT-005-goof

The Frog Pit - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 18 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John Clayton, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; Robert - Eric Berzon, (cast) ; Lucy - Susan Melvin, (cast) ; Fred - Warren Clark, (cast) ; Father - Peter Collins, (cast) ; Mother - Madalane C. Buford, (cast)
Robert, his sister Lucy, and a friend Fred, were gathered around a large pit in the backyard watching frogs they had captured. Robert’s mother called from the house. Annoyed and ignoring her because he feels she is ALWAYS asking him to do something, he blurts out to the others that he wished he didn’t have parents. The children continue to play and Robert taunts one of the frogs by feeding it BB's. The frog consumes all that are dropped into the pit. In the meantime, Robert’s mother has passed out on the kitchen floor, obviously ill. Fred harasses Robert about his actions toward the frog. They end up in a tussle and Fred leaves angry. Lucy discovers her mother, screams and Robert comes running. Mother is taken to the hospital. Robert is feeling very guilty for what he has said about parents and the frog is looking like it might be very sick or dead. Later that night, Robert thinks his comment about parents is the reason his mother is ill. Lucy comes into his bedroom and they talk and decide they should pray about the whole incident. Will their Mother survive and what about the frog?
Topics: Forgiveness; Making choices; Prayer; Remorse
ID: BT-002-frog

Talking Hands - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1961
Length: 32 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John Clayton, (Director) ; John Clayton, (Screenwriter) ; Ruth - Patty Duke, (cast) ; Rodney - Peter Lazer, (cast) ; Mother - Clarice Blackburn, (cast) ; Aunt Beth - Anne Ives, (cast) ; Instructor - Liam Dunn, (cast) ; Student President - Wayne Robertson, (cast)
Ruth's class plans a show of talent. She half-heartedly decides to embroider a sampler, but is convinced she can't do anything with her hands. Rodney, her cousin, plans to work on a rock exhibit, confidently expecting to win. Ruth's Great-Aunt Beth, who is deaf and mute, is an unexpected vistor to her home. Ruth yearns for some way to communicate with her. She decides to learn sign language, but tells no one of her plans. She struggles practicing alone and with an instructor at the Institute for the deaf. Ruth feels clumsy, and is also trying to balance helping Rodney with his exhibit. On the night before the show of talent, Ruth decides to try out the language with her aunt and they slowly spell out words together. This makes Ruth and her aunt happy, but Ruth ends up breaking her hand as an open window falls on her hand as she tries to close the window. Ruth misses the show of talent, but Rodney tells her the principal told the class about her trying to talk with her Aunt Beth, and that he called her the queen of talents!
Topics: Stewardship; Talents
ID: BT-013-hands

New Neighbors - Breakthru Television Series


Date:1962
Length: 29 minutes
Nelson Price, (producer) ; John T. Coyle, (Director) ; Mary Lou Stribling, (Screenwriter) ; Zack - Carson Woods, (cast) ; Buck - John Struder, (cast) ; Anne - Barbara Myers, (cast) ; Mrs. Fuller - Connie Lembcke, (cast)
While playing with his slingshot, Buckley Fuller meets his new neighbor, Zack Daly, who is sitting on a tree limb tying up a rope swing. Zack and his family have moved from the country. A neighborhood community feels quite different to them. Buck likes movies and drugstores, while Zack enjoys fishing and hunting. When Buck tells his mother and sister, Anne that he met Zack and invited the family to church with them, they are reluctant to share his enthusiasm. The rumor has already been spread that there are 7 in the Daly family; they seem poor; and live like “hicks.” Mother decides to call on Mrs. Daly to explain that they may not be going to church on Sunday and they shouldn’t count on sitting together. The Daly family is beginning to feel very unwelcome. When Sunday came, Buck sat with the Daly family. Later, a group of his friends teased him about being a “hick lover.” Ringo, one the boys, and Buck get into a fist fight. Zack, seeing what is happening, breaks it up and confronts Ringo with having also taunted his sisters earlier in the week. He threatens Ringo and the other boys if they don’t let his friend Buck and siblings alone. How do we find similarities in each other? Why do our differences often turn into prejudices?
Topics: Class issues; Prejudice; Race issues; Rural-urban conflict
ID: BT-004-neighbors