Hallelujah (1993) | Charles Lane | Dennis Haysbert Phylicia Rashad James Earl Jones Christmas Gem

Extremely rare third feature by filmmaker Charles Lane (Sidewalk Stories) was produced for the 11th season of PBS’ American Playhouse.

This drama focuses on one Christmas at the Messiah Church in Washington D.C., when a young preacher and, later in the day, a mysterious pregnant girl arrive at the church doors looking to begin new lives. The preacher, the Reverend Oliver Crawford, is not the judgemental church committee’s first choice to be the Messiah’s new pastor; the unwed father of a teenage son, he is given only two days to prove his worth to his new parishioners. Faced with a difficult situation, Crawford makes use of his brief probation by familiarizing himself with the local homelessness problem. Meanwhile, Katherine, a sixteen-year-old girl who is about to give birth, has come to the area to escape an abusive home and to search for a grandfather she doesn’t know. With the help of local homeless advocate “Big” Willie Thorton, Crawford attempts to revive the spirit of the church and provide solace to the displaced girl.

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