Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Robby Benson to make Movie about Billy Graham

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Robby Benson knows how it sounds. But his reason for making a movie about the life of a young Billy Graham, the director says, is simple: "I wanted to make a movie about goodness."

"Billy: The Early Years" focuses on Graham's life as a teenager growing up on a dairy farm in Charlotte through his years as a young man, when he became a super-evangelist, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to his preaching tour "crusades."

The film premieres in theaters Friday in more than a dozen Southern states.

"It's just a love story to Billy," said Benson, who despite a long career as a television and film director is still best known for his days as teen heartthrob in movies such as "Ode to Billy Joe" and "Ice Castles."

"And it's also a love story to trying to do the right thing, just trying your best to be decent and not hurt others and add to the planet."

At the age of 52, Benson has had three open heart surgeries, and he's not easily separated from his wife and children and their home in New York, where he teaches at New York University.

Rest of the Story at AP

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