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The Truman Joe

Traitor's Heart on IMDb

Plot Overview

fishingsunflowersAll-American Nick Brody (Bryan Genesse,) age 36, and his redhead wife Maggie (Kimberley Kates,) and their preschool son Sean (Michael Stark) are living well, although there's no extended family for them save for grandpa Donald Brody (Gordon Mulhol­land.) Maggie has known them all her life, the last five years of which is all Nick—being an amnesiac—can remember. The couple appreciate each other to the hilt and argue not at all unless it be about his missing past. She wants to help him move forward not dwell on it but he's curious. He's a helicopter mechanic away from the public's eye and she's an attorney moving in rarefied circles. He goes off fishing with his father on Sunday, so there's not even a church family for social inter­action. The three of them plus one are a happy if insular unit. His shrink Dr. Lomm (Douglas Bristow) is helping him to maybe recover his memory.

old glorybattered crossJuly 4thWhile they're attending the Fourth of July celebration in Battery Park, Nick encounters a mysterious stranger Michael Sparks (Frank Notaro) whose memory also only goes back five years … but it's starting to return and Nick's in it. Nick arranges to meet another man John Roberts (Gavin Hood) who's in the same boat starting to remember their past as well. These two new acquaintances quickly become statistics in crime-ridden New York, and Nick a target. His queries bring him an inter­view with CIA Deputy Director Jefferson (Clive Scott) who wants some file Nick's supposedly holding as a safe­guard, having been in special operations, lastly deployed to the Congo for a particularly nasty mission they want kept under wraps.

Nick finds his way into the home of New Jersey Senator John Mahoney (Ron Smerczak) now about to run for President on a “make America great again” plat­form. In the past he was Nick's commander who gave the orders for his dirty work. Now his hand is like to be “caught in the cookie jar.” A shot gets fired and a befuddled Nick ends up charged with serious crimes and unable to defend him­self for gaps in his memory. Various loose ends surface in court making this an interesting legal drama.


We share the couple's distress trying to work out a rapid resolution to the fruit of deception carried out for half a decade. The writers have given us some back­ground actions to practice on. A wise man did the same in, (Prov. 30:18-19) “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

“The way of an eagle in the air” corresponds to Nick setting Sean in the pilot's seat of a helicopter to do the preliminaries prior to takeoff. Similarly, Nick might be out of his depth wanting to represent him­self in his trial. It's uncertain if Judge Abrahms (Dale Cutts) will let him or if that's wise at any rate.

“The way of a serpent upon a rock” corresponds to Sean trying to find his folks whom he was separated from in the crowd (“He knows if he got lost to go back to the food place.”) A kind stranger helps set him on the roof (“Up here”) of a concession stand (“all the way”) to give him (“You can do it”) a better vantage (“there”) to “spot your dad from.” If Maggie resigns from the D.A.'s office, she'd be free to represent her husband who needs all the help he can get.

Kaboom!“The way of a ship in the midst of the sea” corresponds to the U.S.S. Nebraska being ordered to fire a cruise missile at their expendable men. The prosecutor might just decide to drop his case against Nick for its unknown ramifications.

Our thinking has been paved for “the way of a man with a maid” in which they might be able to put past betrayal behind them in order to move on with a workable life.

Production Values

” (1999) was directed by Danny Lerner. It was written by Clint Lien and Danny Lerner. It stars Bryan Genesse, Kimberley Kates and Ron Smerczak. Genesse gave the lead role his best shot but won't win any prizes. Kates was great for eye candy. Smerczak was quotable. Dale Cutts cut a fine figure as a judge whose patience was tried enough to liberally grant recesses.

MPAA rated it R for some irreverent language. It was filmed partly on location in South Africa. Stunt work was good. Explosions were impressive. The script could have used a different writer. Runtime is 1½ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This one was okay for a B–film. Its themes have been played out better else­where, but the forgiveness aspect at the end was first rate. Good family drama.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.