×

A Disney Channel Premiere Film the Four Diamonds

His oncologist (Christine Lahti) offers no comfort. Chris is shut out from what he needs most: someone leveling, someone who understands the dreadful fear of the unknown.

His oncologist (Christine Lahti) offers no comfort. Chris is shut out from what he needs most: someone leveling, someone who understands the dreadful fear of the unknown.

Chris, assigned an essay after the chemo torment on how he spent his summer, turns to the legendary Round Table and, in fantasy, becomes Squire Millard, who must defeat evil, bad-rhyming Queen Raptemahad (Lahti). Dad and Mom earn their own spots at Chris’ fictional table, and Chris sets off on four tasks commanded by the queen so he can earn four diamonds: courage, wisdom, honesty and strength. The final battle is a joust with the black knight as Chris, having brought the others into openness, sets off for the palace.

Pic at times stints on poignancy, but young Guiry acceptably pursues the course of both roles. Lahti, whose doctor is a chill, rightfully plays the witch as the projection of a tortured pre-teen mind.

As the mom, Brook, also playing a gorgeous hermit in the fantasy’s woods, is good, and Dunn’s upset dad is sympathetic. Michael Bacall as Chris’ ill friend Tony brings across a strong characterization.

Robinson’s script, based on the late Chris Millard’s own sad story — both as he wrote it in the fantasy and as he lived it out — retains striking clarity between the two tales, real and imaginary. Robinson gets the important message across that young, ailing people are human, aware and already suffering enough without being handed the burden of deception.

Tech credits are efficient, and Philip Marshall contributes a supportive score.

A Disney Channel Premiere Film the Four Diamonds

(Sat. (12), 8-10 p.m., Disney Channel)

  • Production: Filmed on location in Eugene, Ore., and in Los Angeles by O'Byrne Prods. Exec producers, Joe Byrne, Jeb Rosebrook; producer, Jean Higgins; co-producer, Todd Robinson; director, Peter Werner; writer, Todd Robinson, based on a story by Christopher Millard; camera, Neil Roach; editor, Corky Ehlers; sound, Bruce Bisenz; music, Philip Marshall; production designer, John DeCuir Jr. #Cast: Thomas Guiry, Christine Lahti, Kevin Dunn, Jayne Brook, Sarah Rose Karr, Michael Bacall, Abilah Barnes, Catherine E. Coulson, Leland Baxter Neal, Jason Mason, Dan Kremer, Don Nau, Brett Jones. True story based on 13-year-old Christopher Millard's grim bout with cancer and with people who wouldn't be square with him is effective and worthy enough as far as it goes. With an affecting Thomas Guiry as Chris and OK direction by Peter Werner of Todd Robinson's challenging script, "The Four Diamonds" makes a valiant attempt to spotlight honest behavior. When Chris first goes on chemotherapy, dad Charles (Kevin Dunn) and mom Irma (Jayne Brook) try to shield him from the truth in small ways. As his hair falls out, kids at school taunt him, and sister Stacie (Sarah Rose Karr) seems angry with him.
  • Crew:
  • Cast:
  • Music By: