Stella Johnson is a single mother living in the town of Harper Valley. Now most of the townspeople, particularly on the PTA board, think that she is a little too liberal and liberated for ...
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Stella Johnson is a single mother living in the town of Harper Valley. Now most of the townspeople, particularly on the PTA board, think that she is a little too liberal and liberated for them, so they are making things tough for her and her daughter. When the PTA board threaten to have her daughter expelled unless Stella changes her ways, she decides to get back at them by first exposing all their hidden secrets and then pulling all sorts of humiliating pranks on them. When she decides to run for the position of PTA President, they are really infuriated and try to stop her any way they can. Written by
At the Harper Valley P. T. A. meeting that Stella Johnson drove to and brought her daughter, Dee Johnson, along with her: Stella Johnson deeply embarrassed eight Harper Valley P. T. A. members, in order they are: First was Bobby Taylor. Second, Holly Taylor, (Bobby Taylor's wife). Third, Kirby Baker. Fourth, Willa Mae Johnson. Fifth, Harper Valley's mayor, Otis Harper, Junior. Sixth, Shirley Thompson. Seventh, Miss. Olive Glover. Eighth, extremely egotistical Harper Valley P. T. A. President, Mrs. Flora Simpson Reilly. See more »
P.T.A. stands for Parents Teachers Association, therefore there would not be a miscellaneous group of people in the town running it. The P.T.A. would be made of of parents whose children attend the school. See more »
Willa Mae Jones:
[to her all female class students, just before showing the film on sex education, that Stella Johnson and Alice Finely spliced it with clips of Willa Mae Jones]
If any of you think that sex is a laughing matter, wait until you get married!
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As Harper Valley P.T.A. (1978) concludes, Will proposes to Stella and she accepted his proposal. As they get in the helicopter and start for their trip, a note on a long & clear plastic banner, of "STELLA JOHNSON FOR MAYOR" (in red capital letters) is tied on the tail of the helicopter, trailing behind them. See more »
Back during my youth in the 70s, the town I lived it was very conservative and tightly wound. Parents cringed at the thought of James Bond movies shown on TV, as the locals thought of them as hardcore porn. Strict standards were expected from everyone.
As teens, the local kids started to realize how overflowing with hypocrisy the town was, and when this movie came along, we rejoiced.
Stella Johnson is a freespirited widow in a conservative town who gets a nastygram from a disapproving PTA. Getting an earful from her friend who runs the local beauty parlor (they weren't called "salons" back then!), she confronts them at a meeting with their own failings (alcoholism, promiscuity, gambling, etc.), but after they don't back down, she engages in a series of pranks to expose and humiliate them. In the meantime she makes over her daughter, falls in love, runs for PTA president herself, and uncovers real corruption.
Yes, it's creaky material, done a jillion times before and probably done better. But Barbara Eden is an energetic and sympathetic heroine, and is believable as the dishy nonconformist mom. Nanette Fabray is also a hoot as her friend Alice. And a bunch of old pros do their best.
But we loved it in our town because so many of the younger set were disgusted with the self-righteousness and hypocrisy we saw in our teachers, in the town government, in the church leaders, and frequently in our own parents. We relished our daydreams of exposing their foibles and confronting them, but too often never did. (Unfortunately, the truly self-righteous view these as simple malice and never truly realize they brought it on themselves.) So even if this movie isn't all that, it appeals to the downtrodden teen who still lives in me and is still disgusted with the self-righteous, it's-OK-if-I-do-it establishment. And I STILL need to expose my sticky-fingered mother about her larcenous habits...
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