A look at the lives of migratory farm workers, focusing on one family.


Nominated for 6 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Viola Barlow
Lyle Barlow
Wanda Trimpin
Mr. Barlow
Molly Barlow
Hec Campbell
Tom Trimpin
Dinah Englund ...
Billie Jean Barlow
Brad Sullivan ...
Claudia McNeil ...
Rose Daw
Tom Rosqui ...
Dolph Sweet ...
Mari Gorman ...
Miss Travers


The Barlows are a family of migrant workers who travel from city to city looking for work. The son wishes he could settle down. He meets a girl who wishes to escape her small town life. They both make plans but there are forces working against them. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

3 February 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aufbruch ins Glück  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Real Acting
16 March 2007 | by (Long Island, USA) – See all my reviews

I saw this TV movie when it originally aired in 1974. I was thirteen. I had just seen my first Tennessee Williams play ("The Glass Menagerie") at a local repertory theatre and was smitten with his work. My memory is that I watched this and thought it was great. In the thirty-three intervening years I haven't met a single person who has seen this. I've looked for it for years. Yesterday, I noticed a videotape of it in my local library and I borrowed it. It is a very moving, realistic drama of a family of migrant farmers. I am surprised to find I am only the second customer to review this at this webpage. THE MIGRANTS is based on a story by Tennessee Williams and adapted by Lanford Wilson. The authorship alone should be a reason more people would even hear of this, but this is as obscure as can be. Maybe because it was a TV movie, distribution is problematic. But I doubt it. I see that it was nominated for multiple Emmys and didn't get any. Maybe the fact that THE GRAPES OF WRATH covers the same territory so definitively keeps people from separating THE MIGRANTS from Steinbeck's epic (or from Ford's.) I'll give a list of reasons I still find this intriguing: 1) Cloris Leachman gives a performance equal to the one she gave in THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. 2) Ron Howard gives the performance of his life. He was indeed right for a Tennessee Williams character. 3) Sissy Spacek, pre-CARRIE, packs a lot of emotion (and sympathy) into a relatively small role. 4) Tennessee Williams 5) Lanford Wilson It's not earth-shattering, but it is a very solid drama which appeals to the viewer's sense of outrage over the treatment of the people who farm the land. For fans of oddity, there is another aspect worth a mention. This is ANOTHER pairing of Ron Howard and Cindy Williams. If you don't count crossover episodes of HAPPY DAYS and LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY (but you do count the LOVE, American STYLE episode which served, essentially, as a pilot for HAPPY DAYS, or an audition for the George Lucas film I'm about to mention) Ron Howard and Cindy Williams appeared together in two pretty big vehicles: The LOVE, American STYLE episode I've mentioned and, of course, the giant hit, American Graffiti. But nobody's heard of THE MIGRANTS.

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