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The Sophomore (13 October 1963)

Appearing as Jim Brown

Broadcast 13 October 1963 on independent affiliate broadcast stations.

Synopsis by curator@jamesmacarthur.com:

Jim Brown (James MacArthur) is a college sophomore from a small town who, having experienced the giddy rush of exposure to metropolitan living and a broader scope of ideas, is questioning his Catholic upbringing and faith.

Sitting in his parents' kitchen he declares that their ideas and way of life are outdated and old-fashioned. He wants to be more sophisticated and modern than his fuddy-duddy parents. He views Catholicism the same way, and decides the time has come for him to discard the dull and outmoded religious views espoused by his parents.

His mother is dismayed and shocked and tries to convince her son that he is wrong, but he refuses to listen. Jim's father, a bit wiser and more patient than his wife, simply tells Jim he must find his own way.

Jim abandons his faith, deciding he doesn't need any help from God or anyone else to lead a life which is satisfying and fullfilling. He moves on through college and out into the working world. He meets and falls in love with Jeanne (Marlo Thomas) and the two soon marry. Jim's parents are heartbroken when the wedding takes place in a judge's chambers.

One day Jim tells his parents that Jeanne is expecting their first child. When his mother asks if the child will be baptized, Jim becomes angry and leaves in a huff. Later, however, he and Jeanne begin to discuss their feelings and their religious upbringing. Jeanne declares that her faith in God is as strong now as it was when she was younger and she wants to practice Catholicism again. She urges Jim to join her.

At first adamant in his refusal and stubbornly sticking to his earlier agnosticism, Jim eventually begins to have doubts. On the night his son is born, he realizes what a miracle has occurred. Going to his parents' house to tell them about the birth, he breaks down and admits that he was wrong to deny God and that he will be returning to his faith.

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