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The Prodigal Planet

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Director  Donald W. Thompson
Initial release  1983
Country  United States
5/10 IMDb

Genre  Sci-Fi, Thriller
Music director  Bob Jenkins
Language  English
The Prodigal Planet movie poster
Writer  Donald W. Thompson, William Wellman Jr
Film series  A Thief in the Night Film Series
Cast  William Wellman Jr. (David Michaels), Lynda Beatie (Linda (as Lynda Beattie)), Terri Lynn Hall (Connie Wright), Thom Rachford (Jerry Bradford), Robert Chestnut (Jimmy), Cathy Wellman (Jodi)
Similar movies  Tomorrowland, The Apocalypse, Leopard Vision Vol.1, Marching to Zion, Revelation - The Bride, The Beast & Babylon, 2012
Tagline  The end-times saga continues.

The Prodigal Planet is a 1983 film by Russell S. Doughten and directed by Donald W. Thompson. It is the fourth in a series of at least five films (one still in production) based on an evangelical interpretation of Bible prophecy and the rise of the Antichrist. Unlike the other films in the series that were filmed in Iowa, this one was filmed in New Mexico.


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During the final years of the Antichrist's reign, a nuclear war has devastated the earth. The Antichrist and his world government find their grip on power slowly slipping away as Christ's return draws near. One of the lead characters from the previous film, David Michaels (played by William Wellman Jr.), is now part of a growing underground movement of Christian believers trying to stay out of the government's hands and thus escape execution. The government is using underground agents to infiltrate this movement. David's mission is to travel across a nuclear-devastated landscape to Albuquerque, where he will meet with other underground believers to await Christ's final return. The earth by this time is populated by doomsday people, mutants as a result of the nuclear exchanges. After rescuing one of them, Jimmy, David leads him to Christ. Jimmy later bravely dies to save the others from Jerry, and leaves Jerry their temporary captive.

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Connie Wright (played by Terri Lynn Hall) is a government agent pretending to be a Christian. She rescues David from his internment at UNITE, then tries to get David to reveal the believers' secret hideout. Along the way, they rescue Linda and her daughter, Jody. Linda is a scientific researcher, brilliant, but terrified. Jody is a spoiled brat who, after being told off by Jimmy, begins to change. She even starts to slowly accept David's preaching. The same cannot be said of Linda, who is too rational a scientist to accept David's faith. But Linda is actually evidence of divine providence, because her scientific specialty is radiation. So as they travel through the war-ravaged nation, Linda's knowledge keeps them alive and provides crucial guidance. She feels guilty, though, because she was part of the team that helped create the mutant doomsday people.

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David suspects Linda of being a spy, since it seems that government agents always know where they are. But Linda is the only trustworthy one: Jody is discovered to have been transmitting their position inadvertently, and Connie did so deliberately. Connie is later picked up by a senior UNITE officer (dubbed "General Goon" by David in Image of the Beast). They are soon killed as their van goes out of control and runs into a train. At the end of the movie, Jody accepts Christ as her Savior, while Linda still thinks about the matter, or at least she does not yet openly receive Christ on camera. Meanwhile, a badly wounded and sobbing Jerry is shown in the ruins of the UNITE military base, which is then destroyed by explosions, but not before he rips off his UNITE armband in disgust.


  • William Wellman Jr. as David Michaels
  • Lynda Beatie as Linda
  • Terri Lynn Hall as Connie Wright
  • Thom Rachford as Jerry Bradford
  • Robert Chestnut as Jimmy
  • Cathy Wellman as Jodi
  • Russell S. Doughten Jr. as Rev. Matthew Turner

  • The Prodigal Planet Russ Doughten presents A Prodigal Planet trailer YouTube
    The Prodigal Planet The Prodigal Planet 1983 MUBI


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