"Decoration Day," which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on Ch. 2, is a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation.
Do you need to know any more?As usual, this Hallmark production is high-quality fare. It's an excellent, wonderfully mounted drama about well-drawn characters.
James Garner has the lead in "Decoration Day," which is his third Hallmark outing. The others - "The Promise" and "Bill W." - were both critical and ratings successes.
"Here's another story, in `Decoration Day,' that deals with people," said Garner. "I think everything I've done has to do with the human condition, particularly the the three Hallmark things I've done. And those are the things that interest me personally."
Executive producer Marian Rees, working on her eighth Hallmark production, sees one thing they all have in common.
"What I think has served us well is a real commitment to something . . . and that is to do only that which we believe in," she said.
"All of them hold to that principle. Every one of our pictures is anchored on family or relationships within that family."
In "Decoration Day," the story centers on retired Judge Albert Sidney Finch (Garner).
Set in 1975 Georgia, Finch has withdrawn from the world after the death of his wife. But he's forced back into action by his estranged childhood friend, Gee Penniwell (Bill Cobbs).
It seems that during World War II, Gee was relegated to kitchen duty in the Army because he's black. But when the Nazis attacked, he wiped out an entire squad single-handedly. Now, 30 years later, the government wants to give him the Congressional Medal of Honor - and, for reasons of his own, Gee doesn't want it.
Finch acts as Gee's attorney, threatening legal action against the government to prevent the medal from being awarded.
But that's just the bare framework on which the story is built. Supporting players include Judith Ivey, Ruby Dee, Norm Skaggs and Jo Anderson - each of whom has memorable moments in another memorable Hallmark production.