The life and trials of a 1930s and 1940s Virginia mountain family through financial depression and World War II.


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Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 18 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Jason Walton (213 episodes, 1971-1981)
 Erin Walton (213 episodes, 1971-1981)
 Ben Walton (213 episodes, 1971-1981)
 Mary Ellen Walton (212 episodes, 1971-1981)
 Jim-Bob Walton (212 episodes, 1971-1981)
 Elizabeth Walton (212 episodes, 1971-1981)
 The Narrator (211 episodes, 1972-1981)
 John Walton, Sr. (196 episodes, 1972-1981)
 Ike Godsey (172 episodes, 1972-1981)
 Olivia Walton (169 episodes, 1972-1979)
 The Grandfather (145 episodes, 1972-1979)
 Esther Walton (144 episodes, 1971-1980)
 John-Boy Walton (124 episodes, 1971-1978)
 Corabeth Godsey (107 episodes, 1975-1981)


In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, during the Great Depression, the Walton family makes its small income from its saw mill on Walton's Mountain. The story is told through the eyes of John Boy, who wants to be a novelist, goes to college, and eventually fulfills his dream. The saga follows the family through economic depression, World War II, and through growing up, school, courtship, marriage, employment, birth, aging, illness and death. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance


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Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spencer's Mountain  »

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(221 episodes)

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Did You Know?


When the show premiered on CBS at the beginning of the 1972-73 season, most media pundits felt it didn't have a chance, airing as it did opposite two longtime ratings powerhouses, Flip (1970) on NBC, had been the number 2 show in America for the previous two seasons, and ABC's Mod Squad (1968) was a long-standing favorite, as well. "The Waltons" out-performed both shows in the ratings by a wide margin. "Mod Squad" was canceled by the end of the season, and Flip Wilson, rather than have the same thing happen to his show, announced that the 1973-74 season would be his last. All this happened just a year after CBS felt that rural shows were "out," and set out to prove it, in a highly controversial move, as Fred Silverman canceled several long-running series, such as The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) and Green Acres (1965) which were still very popular and doing well on televisions weekly ratings. See more »


The family got a phone during the later episodes but subsequent to that, they still seemed to be getting their phone messages through storekeeper and manager, Ike Godsey. See more »


John Walton: I hate this draft job, Liv. I can't stand playing God to my neighbors' sons!
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Referenced in In Depth: Ben Shapiro (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

For the television "snobs" who just don't get it
21 October 2004 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

I can't help but be amazed at the few individuals who feel compelled to give negative reviews to this totally entertaining television show. It's one thing to accurately note that the quality of some specific episodes weren't up to the normally high standard that had been set by the vast majority, but it's a different matter completely when someone who obviously either hasn't watched any episodes, or who is basing their opinion of the entire series on one or two specific episodes, takes the time to run the series down. In virtually every case of someone taking the time to run down "The Waltons", it is obvious from their comments that either they have never seen it, they haven't seen enough of it, or they just "don't get it". "The Waltons" is fictional entertainment based loosely on the Hamner family's experiences during the thirties and forties (framed mostly against the Great Depression and WWII). It was almost never overly sentimental or "soppy" and most who have viewed the series agree that it was generally extremely well acted, written, and produced. There were very few exceptions. My wife and I raised three kids in the seventies and eighties, and "The Waltons" was, and is, universally loved and (still) viewed by all of us. The characters are almost like members of our family... and the love, devotion, and family values displayed on that series, became an integral part of the life lessons we chose to make a high priority in the raising of our own children.

The standards generally set for kids today is worlds away from those of just a generation ago, and it's not hard to see why those who were, and are, being raised without benefit of a strong family ethic might see "The Waltons" as somewhat "simple" and overly sentimental. Thankfully, these people are still in the minority. Most people still "get it" and we are forever grateful to the people who were involved in any way with the production of this wonderful television show for giving all of us a standard to which we might aspire even as society in general continues to degrade and cheapen the concept of a nuclear family at every opportunity.

To those who haven't tried it... I suggest that you do so while it is still available. I'm sure that somewhere some group of "new thinkers" is trying to outlaw shows like "The Waltons" for the very reasons that it became so monumentally popular in the first place. As a country, our standards, morals, and sense of family values is being eroded every day... we parents are very much aware of how hard it is today to instill a sense of right and wrong in our children. "The Waltons" made the "medicine" go down in the easiest and most effective way... as an integral part of an extremely entertaining TV show that everyone in the family could/can view without a worry that the wrong values might be represented in a positive light. I've seen the entire series multiple times (except the "reunion specials) and I've never seen an exception to that statement. Again,I invite the "snobs" out there to take a look... or even a second look... the vast majority knows what I know... that a very pleasant surprise awaits you if you'll just give "The Waltons" a chance.

John Christie

("Thumbs-down TVLand" and "Thumbs-up Hallmark Channel"

75 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
such a big family and only 2 cars... misd-86934
Esther's character too nasty landrew120880
Season 8 Episode 11 - Were those in fashion in 1944??? risabush-211-434133
Even The Waltons show was not immune to Add-A-Kid Syndrome! wrialhuden
Filmed in California not in Virginia RhysSmith81
One of the WORST characters...... MagnifiqueIsMe
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