7 user 1 critic

The Great Meadow (1931)

Berk leaves Diony and their baby to hunt down his mother's murderer and is believed to be dead. Evan provides for them & marries Diony. Berk returns and challenges Evan to a fight but Diony will not be fought over "as if I'm not human".




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Complete credited cast:
Berk Jarvis (as John Mack Brown)
Diony Hall
Elvira Jarvis
Betty Hall
Evan Muir
Rubin Hall (as Guinn Williams)
Thomas Hall
Mistress Molly Hall
Sally Tolliver


In a little Virginia village in 1777, Daniel Boone comes and talks about Kentucky. He describes it as the promised land, with ample game and lush fields. Due to this speech, a group of villagers, including Berk and his new wife Diony, decide to trek the 500 miles to Kentucky. However, the dream soon fades to reality as they endure Indians, hunger, death and bad weather. After six months they finally stagger into the fort. Most of the settlers build homes and plant fields outside the fort, and the Indians, led by Black Fox, are out to kill them. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Western





Release Date:

24 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terra Virgem  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film received its first telecasts in Chicago Friday 5 July 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), followed by its first (and probably only) telecast in New York City Monday 12 August 1957 on the Late, Late Show on WCBS (Channel 2), followed by Ogden, Utah Tuesday 8 October 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), and, eventually on the West Coast on KSBW (Salinas/Monterey) (Channel 8). There is no reliable documentation that it was ever televised in Philadelphia, Los Angeles or San Francisco. It's infrequent television showings at that time were limited because of its age and obscurity to the less predominant markets. Today, it's occasionally dusted off by Turner Classic Movies. See more »


As the settlers depart on their voyage, their friends & family sing "Auld Lang Syne" to them. This scene takes place in 1777 and "Auld Lang Syne" wasn't written until 1788. See more »

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User Reviews

An Eastern Western
1 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE GREAT MEADOW is an early talkie "western" about settlers moving from Virginia, across the Appalachian Mountains into Kentucky. The film stars Johnny Mack Brown and Eleanor Boardman as a newly married couple who make the trek to "the great meadow" because of a speech given by Daniel Boone.

This is a solid film with excellent production values that do not glorify or simplify frontier life in 18th century America. Life is rugged and tenuous with starvation, illness, and Indian attacks all a part of everyday life.

Brown is solid as the impetuous settler who is up to any task of frontier life. He leads the band of settlers across the rugged mountains and keeps them moving despite the hardships. After his mother is killed by the Indians, he foolishly embarks on a journey of revenge. Boardman, who made only a handful of talkies, is quite good as the naïve young woman who trudges forth with her husband, only to be abandoned by him.

The supporting cast includes solid work by Lucille LaVerne (the mother), Gavin Gordon as Brown's rival, Russell Simpson, Julie Haydon, Dale Fuller, Guinn Williams, Anita Louise, Virginia Sale, Sarah Padden, John Miljan, and Helen Jerome Eddy as the woman driven crazy by Indian attacks.

Worth looking for.

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