J.T. (1969)

TV Movie   |    |  Family, Drama

J.T. (1969) Poster

J. T. Gamble, a shy, withdrawn Harlem youngster, shows compassion and responsibility when he takes on the care of an old, one-eyed, badly injured alley cat days before Christmas and secretly nurses it back to health.


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22 December 2005 | hffmnmjh
| still touches the heart after all these years
I first saw J.T. in the late 60's or early 70's on a show possibly called "CBS Children's Television Workshop". It was on Saturday mornings about noon after the cartoons were over. It was aired sporadically after that around Christmas in the mid 70's. It isn't a Christmas movie per say but the plot is set around the time of Christmas. Before I got a computer I had no luck finding J.T. anywhere. After I got one I still had no luck until I, like so few others, got wind of a store in NYC called Carousel books and films. I contacted them by phone and their asking price was really too high for a person on a budget. I waited and hoped that someday I'd come across somebody with a copy or a copy of a copy on Ebay. Two weeks ago my wait was over! Last night I got to see J.T. for the first time in nearly 35 years, in color no less!!! When I saw it last my parents had not yet had a color TV so I saw it in black and white. A lot of the story I couldn't remember because I was only about 7 or 8 when I last saw it, I'm 43 now. I remembered the main points though, the little boy who lived with his mother, nursing a homeless cat back to health in an abandoned building before and after school, the tragedy that happens, the saddest moment on TV since the Martins forced Timmy to give up Lassie to move to Australia in "Timmy and Lassie", (both of these tug at the heart strings and bring a tear to the eye) and the 'turn around' happy ending. This isn't academy award winning by any standards but it is a descent heart warming story that kids and adults alike can enjoy. A rarity to find that kind of quality in shows made today. I will cherish my copy of J.T. and will proudly play it every Christmas time in my home. It is a shame that it is not picked up by some cable channel and at least shown around Christmas like it used to be or better yet, put out on VHS or DVD, maybe someday.

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