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DVD Paused: THE FOUR DIAMONDS (The Disney Channel, 1995)

May 13, 2008

This is probably going to be one of the most difficult DVD PAUSED columns I have ever written.  Not merely because of the scarcity and rarity of the title, but also because of the subject matter.   THE FOUR DIAMONDS is based on the true story of Christopher Millard.

Christopher was a typical student living a typical life, until he started having trouble breathing properly through his nasal passages.  The difficulty turned out to be a brain tumor that was pressing on the front part of his skull and face.  At the beginning of the school year that he was diagnosed, Christopher was given an assignment to keep a journal (if I remember the story correctly).  Christopher decided to create the story of the Four Diamonds, and his quest to become a full fledged knight.  Each diamond that “Squire Millard” has to retrieve represents a noble characteristic:  Courage, honesty, wisdom, and strength.  In reality, Millard believed that these were characteristics all cancer patients require to face this dreadful disease.  Sadly, Christopher lost his battle, not long after he completed the story.  Today, the story is shared among young cancer patients across the country.

In 1995 The Disney Channel turned Christopher’s courageous story into an original movie starring Thomas Guiry of BLACK HAWK DOWN, in the title role, and Christine Lahti as the doctor in charge of Christopher’s treatment protocol.  I watched the movie on its first airing, and on subsequent airings before the movie was removed from The Disney Channel lineup.  Each time I watched it, I tried to brace myself for the emotional impact this movie carried, but was wiping my eyes by the end.  Guiry delivers a brilliant performance as Christopher.  As I type this, I am thinking of one of Guiry’s last scenes in the movie, as he tries to comfort his little sister at the family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  Guiry’s Christopher tells her that everything is going to be OK with gentle confidence and bravery, although his little sister is already in tears, as was I pretty much by then.

If that scene isn’t enough to melt the stoniest of hearts, then you should have seen what happened in the final scenes.  Everyone who was part of Christopher’s life and treatment take turns reading the final passages of Christopher’s story.  If this scene doesn’t convince you that one person can make a difference, then nothing will.  It’s a shame that Disney wasn’t marketing its original movies back then the way it does now.  THE FOUR DIAMONDS would have been and continue to be a must own. Not only as a real and very moving human drama, but also as a teaching tool.  Young people need as many resources as they can get to help them deal with the harsh realities of life.  This movie can help them deal with the pain of cancer either as a patient or as a family member.  It DESERVES and CRIES OUT to see the light of day again.

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8 comments

  1. I agree. Loved this movie. Taped it on Disney and owned it for years but it eventually got lost.


  2. I so want this movie. If anyone knows where to get it, please let us all know—–a must have!!! Disney take note!!!


  3. I loved this movie growing up and have looked everywhere to watch it online and havent found it yet.


  4. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some
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    this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly
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    • Please do come back and read more. Please keep in mind, though, that adding media is not an option right now for me, due to the fact that I’m using a Kindle to write. Also, I respectfully request that no outside links to websites requiring membership be included. On the lighter side, if you liked this, check out my recent tribute to CONTRAPTION.


  5. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is
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    • Thank you for the kind words. Feel free to comment on any post. I only ask respectfullyg that you not include external links requiring registration with personal information in your replies. I have a personal and professional reputation to maintain :-). Keep reading, more posts are coming soon. To answer your question I started in 2008, took a hiatus in 2011 (see Where Have I Been? for more details), and came back when my situation changed.


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