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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)
Elvira Jarvis
Betty Hall
Evan Muir
Rubin Hall (as Guinn Williams)
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 both Altoona PA and Honolulu Wednesday 8 May 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10) and on KHVH (Channel 13); it first aired in Hartford CT 19 June 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Chicago 5 July 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in New Haven CT 8 July 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in New York City Monday 12 August 1957 on the Late, Late Show on WCBS (Channel 2), in Minneapolis 18 August 195 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Norfolk VA 11 September 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Salt Lake City 8 October 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), in Seattle 15 October 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Windsor ON 13 November 1957 on CKLW (Channel 9) (serving Detroit), in Akron 25 November 1957 on WAKR (Channel 49), in Tampa 7 December 1957 on WFLA (Channel 8), in Durham NC 10 December 1957 on WTVD (Channel 11), and in San Antonio 17 December 1957 on WOAI (Channel 4); there is no reliable documentation that it was ever televised in Philadelphia, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Today, it's occasionally taken out for an airing on cable TV on 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

You'll need a high tolerance for corn
2 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

Prairie saga with just awful performances in almost every role. Incredibly slow moving considering the short running time. The wretchedness of the performances can be partially, but only partially, laid to the cringe worthy dialogue that the actors are forced to spout. It's what they do with it where the rest of the problem lies.

Eleanor Boardman comes off best although some big silent screen gestures occasionally slip in to her work here and there. Still compared to the truly dreadful acting of the two main men, Johnny Mack Brown and Gavin Gordon, she's a Duse. That's Lucille La Verne, the voice of the evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, hamming it up as Brown's mother.

If you're a fan of Anita Louise don't be fooled by the prominence of her billing, she has what amounts to a bit in the very beginning of the film and is gone from the picture after that.

All in all a struggle to get through unless you're a student of the early transition from silence to sound.

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