Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Mar 2016)
Brief Synopsis – A mountain family living on a secluded mountain eagerly await the return of their father in order to celebrate Christmas Eve together during the depression days of the 1930’s
My Take on it – There aren’t many kids who grew up in America during the 70’s or 80’s who have never watched or even heard about the TV show The Waltons.
This movie is actually the one that started it all.
The story of a wholesome family living in the depression era mountains of Virginia was something that really appealed to one and all and this 100 minute TV movie / Pilot went on to spawn 9 seasons and 213 episodes of the show.
The story itself is done well and we get a clear picture just from this movie about how life was just a mere 40 years earlier (Ironically, this movie is even further in time from us then they were from the era depicted).
We get to briefly meet a number of the town’s quirky inhabitants who give us an even broader view of what life was like back then.
Richard Thomas’ John-Boy is still the main focus both here and in the TV show and even as a young 20 year old actor, he does a great job.
Patricia Neal is wonderful as the mother but clearly missing from this movie/pilot is the perfect fatherly presence of Ralph Waite as Pa Walton. Here he is played by Andrew Duggan who does a nice job, but thankfully the character was recast with Waite who really became the TV icon of the Depression Era warm and caring father.
Thanks to SG from Rhyme and Reason for suggesting that I see this film.
Bottom Line – Very good story that is heartwarming and touches upon the true meaning of family and holidays. Helped spawn a very successful long running tv show. Great characters and a cast that brings it all home for us despite the actor who was the backbone of the series being MIA. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Spawned the long running TV series, ‘The Waltons’ (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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