Thinking Out Loud

May 23, 2010

Movie to Tell the Keith Green Story

A very small handful of blogs have picked up on this story from Monday (5/17) which appeared — as far as I can tell — only at the Los Angeles Daily News.   As I type this, the link has been broken, so I’m going to import some of this from other bloggers who were able to grab the story before the link became unstable…

First from Arts and Faith:

Nearly 30 years after Christian-rock pioneer Keith Green died in a plane crash, his widow and a Hollywood producer have teamed up to bring his story to the big screen in the hope of introducing a new generation to his music. . . .

Melody Green is working with producer Mike Leahy to make a movie version of her book “No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green.”

Leahy has been involved with a number of Hollywood projects over the past 20 years, including “The Prophecy” starring Christopher Walken and “Infinity” directed by Matthew Broderick. But this is the first project for the production company he formed with his wife, Lori, to make films with a spiritual or social message.

They hope to start shooting later this year, and release the film in 2011. . . .

The blog To Be Free fills in more of the missing online article:

One of several Christian rock musicians who lived in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, Keith and his wife, Melody, wrote numerous hit songs, but also formed a seven-home community in Woodland Hills where they cared for people in need.

“The stuff he did was breaking all the rules,” said Melody, now an author, composer and speaker who leads Last Days Ministries out of Kansas City, Mo.

“He showed up in flip-flops, blue jeans and suspenders and really kind of revolutionized the music industry by giving away his music for free, loving God, really loving people and telling Christians, `Hey, we’ve got to do what we say we believe.”‘

It turns out however, that one blogger had this story first at the blog, Our Sovereign Joy.   That entry is a link to the Last Days Ministries website; the organization Keith started that Melody Green continues.   There we read:

Shortly after the plane crash, I knew someday there would be a movie about Keith.  I’ve waited for over 25 years for the Lord’s timing — for God to bring producers with the right hearts, the vision and expertise to take Keith’s story to the big screen.

I always had a specific vision for the movie… just as I did when I wrote Keith’s story in No Compromise.  I want people to join Keith in his searching years and then track with us together on our journey to faith.  It must be authentic — and connect to both the heart and the spirit.

The Screenplay is being written right now – so please pray for it specifically!  For the story line, the events shown, and the power of God to be woven into it.

Every film that is taken from a book is much more condensed than the book, so everyone involved needs great and specific guidance…

…This movie is a God-sized job that needs to be bathed in prayer… for wisdom, anointing, divine connections, favor in the industry, the funding that is needed, and much more.

I also need prayer personally, as I know this will be both an exciting and emotionally overwhelming project.  I’m already feeling the weight of it…

Continue reading Melody’s letter here… (click on “current prayer needs” under Keith’s picture)

This is a story we’ll continue tracking.   Years later, there is no denying the great influence of Keith Green’s life and music.   Even this week, as part of a two-hour reconnect with a friend who does worship seminars for churches, I asked the question, “I wonder what Keith Green would think of today’s modern worship industry?”

This movie will no doubt impact many lives, and taking Melody’s suggestion — we should all be praying both for the movie to be a worthy reflection of Keith’s life, but also praying about the role we can play in helping to promote it, especially to a younger generation who never lived through the year’s of Keith Green’s influence.

Do you have a Keith Green story to tell?   Click on the comment link and share your story.

Photo: Keith and Melody as new Christians.  The book No Compromise was reprinted in 2008 by Thomas Nelson.

UPDATE:   Be sure to read a more recent story on this blog describing the 28/28/28 memorial.


  1. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news story about Keith Greens crash on the radio. It was while I was at work at my summer job at the gift shop of a museum. As a 20 year old I was a huge fan of his honest lyrics and fun musical style. There were several people shopping when I let out a loud “No!” and then I had to explain that I sort of “knew” the person who had just died. Of course he and I had never met but he had connected with me deeply. I do trust that the movie is made to his widows standards and that God will be glorified in the project. Keith would be delighted!

    Comment by Cynthia — May 23, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  2. I read “No Compromise” almost 10 years ago and loved it. I knew who Keith Green was before that because my parents listened to his music. I look forward to seeing a movie about him.

    Comment by Becky — May 24, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  3. […] Green and the Jesus Movement Jump to Comments A Keith Green movie is in the works.  (Thanks to Paul Wilkinson for posting links to information and […]

    Pingback by Keith Green and the Jesus Movement « Meg Moseley's Blog — May 25, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

  4. My brother is a piano player who learned to play by ear when he was 11-12. His first music he began playing was Keith Green’s songs–he plays and sings his songs just like Keith did. He even looks like Keith Green. Look him up on youtube–Nick Caffacus.

    Comment by christy kuhnle — May 27, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  5. Thanks for this post. Keith had a major influence on my life. I’m looking forward to the movie!

    Comment by Bobby Sparks — June 9, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  6. Keith’s music and lyrics still influence my life. The pure honesty of a soul longing for more of God and the challenge to all who listened… I am still stirred by No Compromise. I look forward to the movie.

    Comment by Daphne — July 29, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  7. Hello,

    Just discovered the late Keith Green by the song he wrote for the movie “Future Tense”

    Didn’t know about him in the seventies as we came to the LORD through the Jimmy Swaggart weekend television program Feb., 1988.

    So sorry about Keith Green’s accident, but know he is in that place of endless time with Jesus. Just bought some of Keith’s albums on Amazon. We will try and catch up with his life story. We feel God in the up and coming movie! Wow!!!

    In Jesus Christ of Nazareth,

    Ken & Sue Taunton
    Joplin, Missouri

    Comment by Ken & Sue Taunton — July 30, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

  8. I was saved at a Keith Green concert At Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa in the 1970’s..Looking forward to the Movie!..I often reflect back to keith’s music…Thank you Melody for making this possible!

    Comment by Carole Stone — September 18, 2010 @ 1:44 am

  9. To those of you posting comments here or just dropping by for the first time, here’s a website to follow the film’s progress.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — September 18, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  10. Sometimes it pleases the Lord to bring someone into our lives that affects us forever. Keith was it for me! There has never been before, nor do I doubt ever will be music filled with such deep conviction. I could not possibly express how deeply of a kindred Spirit I was with this man. I even loved his over-zealousness in his preaching and in his articles he use to write that rubbed so many the wrong way. For a Christian, you’ve got to forever love someone with so much passion and conviction. Oh, how he would challenge me! I only wish I had half of his conviction. My collection of well worn Keith Green CD’s will always be my absolute favorite music to listen to. I still miss him, but I’ll see him again one day. Oh, and I can’t wait for the movie!

    Comment by Todd Leger — September 21, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

  11. i am a contempory of keith and vaguely remember hering of him. have had his bio on a shelf for a few years and a couple of months ago i heard the lord tell me take that book down and read it i want to change you. change me it did. i laughed i cried and now it is another stepping stone to my walk. we are NEVER to old to change.

    Comment by bill manley — November 9, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  12. I was led to buy No Compromise one day out of the blue at a bookstore. God used it tremendously in my life, when I needed to walk away from a relationsohip and let God be glorified in all areas of my life. Keith’s life reflected an undying passion for Christ and the lost. I’m so excited that there will be a film to share his testimony!

    Comment by Merritt Reeves — December 28, 2010 @ 1:40 am

  13. Hi! I am a musician myself, bassist vocalist and studied watched Keith Green for the first time on you tube this week, and the depth of his message on “soften your heart” (live) is much deeper than most of the Christian songs I have heard in todays mainstream Christian market. It suprises me he did not get more airplay. I thought I heard him on the radio as a young girl on a “secular” station. I would love to hear someone pickup “soften your heart”, and do a heavy funky gospel version of that song. That song is fantastic as well as the others he wrote.I would like to know more about him. The movie will be great. may God’s blessing pour upon it. Val

    Comment by Val Sullivan — December 30, 2010 @ 2:05 am

  14. Wow,this is amazing, I have spent the greater part of my life loving and listening to Keith Green, it brings joyous tears to my eyes to hear that his ministry lives on and his wife will aid in the creation of a movie.Be blessed and my family and I will be praying for the movie.

    Comment by Janelle — January 6, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  15. In my opinion, Kieth Green was a modern day prophet. He was fired up for Christ like no other, what an inspiration! God works in mysterious ways and it seems possibly God “takes” those who gets too close to him. I believe Keith may have been one of these chosen people that God takes to be with him. I’ll never understand why his ministry was cut short for he and his music were awesome. I had the oportunity to see him in Indianapolis in the mid 80’s and could not keep from crying, tears flowing from the presence of God as everyone else around me. I was in Arby’s when my girlfriend told me that she heard about his plane crash on the radio…. I was so upset! I love his 6 part story on youtube, I would love to see a movie. Jeff DAVIS (Indpls Firefighter)

    Comment by Jeff Davis — January 9, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

  16. If you mention the name Keith Green to most Christians 40-50 year old you will see a visible change on their face, because of the impact Keith Green had on that generation. I was in a phone booth in Ft. Know KY as an Army cadet when my mother told me about Keith. I will never forget it. I will also never forget going to a Keith Green event in Muskegon as a church kid, and I left a disciple of Jesus. He had his big hair and his flannel shirt, and when I walked in there was only a piano on the stage. I thought, where is the exit. Next thing I knew God’s Spirit crushed my heart. I still have those old free blue cassette tapes.

    Comment by Tim Carigon — February 18, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    • There have been many comments left here that I haven’t really responded to, but yours reminded me of something.

      Back in the day, there was much discussion about Christian groups doing concerts that were mostly for Christians, and Christian groups doing “evangelistic” (or even “pre-evangelism”) concerts for a broader audience. But those distinctions were lost on Keith Green because he simply sang and spoke about the Lordship of Christ, and once you start preaching about the Lordship of Christ, you’ve really got everybody covered.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 18, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

  17. Keith Green had such a fire for God and to me seemed to live everything he sang which made his music so incredible so alive,I’m 19 and he’s helped me so much with my walk with God , out of any singer out there,his music is still so alive, I would love to watch a movie about him and will continue to pray for it, he’s been the kind of Godly man figure I’ve had little of in my life and need more of, hopefully this will help other young people and my friends the way he and his music have helped me!

    Comment by Todd Boyer — March 1, 2011 @ 1:35 am

  18. I hope this is still a “go”. This is what the world needs right now. The music the story, wow I could only imagine.

    Comment by Shane — July 29, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

    • Me too. This particular blog post still attracts a lot of traffic, but there hasn’t been much news about the movie since I posted this.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 29, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  19. I read Melody’s book on Keith Green, No compromise back in 1990 and I wept over Keith’s death like one who had lost one’s own brother. I was so impacted by his christianity together with Melody. I listen to Keith’s music and I cry again. I feel such a loss and feel as if I knew this beautiful couple. Wherever you are Melody, know that you are so appreciated and cherished. Iam sure the child you were carrying is very grown now and I often wonder whether the zeal of the father will flow. It is my prayer the Lord has kept you in your loneliness and loss. The Lord bless you my dearest sister in the Lord. You are trully loved by me and my family.

    Comment by leah — March 17, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  20. Melody I hope you are ok. This movie needs to be done. I am now 40 yrs old and grew up on a steady diet of Keith’s music. He didn’t sing hymns to a distant and overly large and unknowable God but love songs to his Lord and master. He never produced lesser work but gave it all. No musical formula scientifically designed to help prayer. Just honest songs in which the words and music fit together hand in glove.

    Comment by Micah — June 22, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  21. I had not ever heard of Keith Green until today. Our SS lesson was on obedience and the teacher played his song “To obey is Better Than Sacrifice”. What a great song that really fit in with what we had studied
    about Samuel and Saul and Saul’s disobedience to God. How we need to take these words to heart and be more obedient to God.

    Comment by Dorothy — August 24, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

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