Watch the holiday favorite The Shepherd with John Travolta in this must-see movie!

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Holiday classic The Shepherd flies onto the screen in movie starring John Travolta



“Discover the Legendary CBC Radio Classic that’s Now Making Waves on the Big Screen”

The Shepherd, a beloved holiday classic on CBC Radio, has finally been adapted into a movie, thanks to the passionate efforts of actor John Travolta and director Iain Softley. While CBC listeners have long been familiar with Frederick Forsyth’s riveting short story, the transition to the big screen is a momentous occasion for fans of this haunting tale.

A Timeless Tradition

The Shepherd has been a mainstay on CBC’s As It Happens program for generations, resonating deeply with Canadian families. Travolta himself has enjoyed the Christmas Eve broadcasts of the story over the years, igniting a genuine desire to bring it to life on screen.

It was Travolta who initially pushed for the adaptation, having been fascinated with the novella for the past 30 years and hoping to portray the young protagonist in the film. With the collaborative efforts of well-known producers, including Alfonso Cuarón and Gabriela Rodriguez, along with the late Bill Kenwright, Travolta’s vision has finally come to fruition.

The Mysterious Plot

The movie adaptation, now available on Disney+, stars Ben Radcliffe as the young protagonist pilot, Freddie Hooke, and Travolta himself who portrays the titular Shepherd. The Shepherd offers a captivating tale of survival and intrigue as it unfolds in a Christmas-like setting amidst a snow-covered landscape.

The Beginnings of a Classic

Forsyth originally wrote The Shepherd as a ghost story for his wife as a Christmas gift in 1974. He never anticipated publishing the story, but his wife recognized its potential, leading to its widespread popularity.

As It Happens has played a significant role in embedding The Shepherd in Canadian culture, with the iconic Fireside Al Maitland becoming synonymous with the reading of this captivating story, drawing in listeners year after year.

A New Tradition

The release of the film version marks an evolution of the classic story, adding new depth and context to the protagonist’s journey and experiences. With the dual experience of both the audio and visual versions now a possibility, The Shepherd will continue to captivate audiences and carve a place in holiday traditions across Canada.

With its timeless tale and undisputed allure, The Shepherd reinforces the power of storytelling and the profound impact it can have across different mediums. This compelling narrative endures as a testament to the magic of traditional tales, powered by the timeless wonder of the holiday season.



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