• Charlton Heston • Mickey Rooney • Deborah Winters • Jane Russell • Christopher Hewett
• Dorian Harewood • Steve Guyer • Peter Graves • Cassidy Rae
America: A Call to Greatness, won’t hold back the Red Sea, win a chariot race, or chase an invading army out of New Orleans. But in its content for America, it just might be the Greatest Show on Earth.”
– Charlton Heston comments on America, A Call the Greatness.
America: A Call to Greatness,a patriotic docudrama from Paige-Brace Cinema, filmed in all 50 of the United States from 1992 until 1994. Motion picture crews filmed cities, townships and American scenery from St. Charles, Kentucky to Monument Valley and from New York, City to the Golden Gate Bridge. All of the background and scenic footage is original with the production and filmed on location at the very sites where the historical events occurred. George Washington speaks from Valley Forge just as Abraham Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address from that famous location.
The film’s distributor, Millennial Entertainment, Inc. released the film theatrically in 1995. After its premiere screening in Washington, D.C., it continued running in public and private venue screenings for 15 years. It was at the time, the largest docudrama of its kind ever produced. The production featured 12 major film and television stars together with 14 of the country’s foremost performing artists. In addition, 16 prominent Americans made guest appearances along with commentary from three former U.S. Presidents. Celebrated western actor, businessman and Country Music Hall of Fame winner, Gene Autry gave what would be his final performance. In the program, he introduced a new version of America the Beautiful, his first song release since his retirement in 1965. The production is non-political and historically accurate. Although prominent character actors portray 24 of America’s most famous figures of history, the words used in all dialogue are their own.
Don’t blink because you might be in the movies. As preparation for the production’s release to television, director Warren Chaney chose not to use traditional station break announcements. Instead of relying solely on his cast members, he and his traveling film crew gathered footage of regular everyday Americans from around the nation. In one instance, an American Indian chief delivers the station break announcement (“America: A Call to Greatness will return!”) in sign language. An Army Sergeant from Ft. Bragg, NC, delivers another and a young child closes the show in youngster language, “We be right back!”
“America: A Call to Greatness is the patriotic experience of a lifetime so by all means bring the kids in.”
– Mickey Rooney comments on America, A Call the Greatness.