Steven Weber (“Wings,” “Brothers & Sisters”) stars in a touching story inspired by true events, of the special relationship between a broken, homeless vet and his only constant companion and soulmate, a Border Collie named Duke, in the World Premiere of “Duke,” a Hallmark Movie Channel Original premiering Saturday, April 28 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Weber is joined by Sarah Smyth (“50/50,”) Allison Hossack (“Battle of the Bulbs,” “Reaper”), Kendall Cross (“Caprica”) and Martin Cummins (“V”). Border Collies, Zeek and Tanner take turns as Duke.
Marine Sergeant Terry Pulaski (Weber), a once proud man, is now a broken shell of himself having returned from Iraq with both PTSD and a disabling injury. Terry struggles to be a good father and husband, but he’s constantly depressed and hates the man he’s become. Bethany (Cross), Terry’s wife reluctantly brings home a stray dog that her student’s named Duke, knowing that Terry and their daughter will immediately fall in love. But during a Fourth of July firework celebration, Terry has flashbacks of the war and finds himself being comforted by Duke as the two lay huddled together on the laundry room floor. From that moment on, Duke and Terry are inseprable. As tensions are running high at home, Terry is delivered a final blow when he is ordered by his doctors to take a medical discharge. Terry feels like he has become a burden to his wife and daughter and decides to leave, taking Duke with him.
Ten years later, Terry and Duke are living in an old RV parked in his friend Javier’s (Cummins) carport. The two met when they were both homeless. The years have been hard on Terry and he struggles to make ends meet by doing odd jobs for people in the neighborhood. So when Duke becomes seriously ill, Terry is frantic because he has very little money, and he cannot bear knowing Duke may not survive. In desperation, Terry takes Duke to a nearby veterinary clinic, hoping a doctor (Hossack) will ease his final hours. When asked to fill out paperwork, Terry leaves an anonymous letter instead and takes off before the medical technician returns. To everyone’s surprise, Duke recovers, and a media campaign to find Duke’s owner leads Terry to not only reunite with Duke but reconcile with Alice (Smyth) his estranged daughter.
“Duke” is produced by Vet Street Productions. Gerald W. Abrams is the executive producer and Harvey Kahn is the producer. Mark Jean directed from a script by Michael J. Murray.
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