Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed on location in South Carolina, The Price of Heaven represents one of the forays into the realm of made-for-TV movies by celebrated director Peter Bogdanovich. The story takes place in the early 1950s, as Korean war hero Jerry Shand (Grant Show) returns to his Southern hometown. Aspiring to medical school, Jerry lands a low-paying but steady job selling funeral insurance to the local black community. When ordered to collect back premium payments from the elderly and impoverished Vesta Battle (Cicely Tyson in a virtual reprise of her "Miss Jane Pittman" characterization), Jerry is prevented from doing so by his newly awakened compassion and social consciousness--thereby placing his job, and his entire future as a "good Southerner", in jeopardy. On a more personal level, Jerry is torn between love for his childhood sweetheart, whose family runs a local laundry, and lust for the predatory daughter of a wealthy cotton-mill owner (shades of Bette Davis!) Based on a novella by Allan Gurganus and first telecast over the CBS network on August 17, 1997, The Price of Heaven has since been shown on cable TV under the title Blessed Assurance.
family, veteran [military]