After the Chisholm family were cheated out of their land in Virginia, they packed up everything and headed west to the Oregon Territory to set up a new life in the 1840s. It took two years for the Chisholms, led by patriarch Hadley and matriarch Minerva, to reach Oregon, along the way dealing with Indians, strife, family disagreements and rough travel. Written by
Marty McKee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 1979 TV miniseries "The Chisholms" features Robert Preston as the patriarch of a family that moves west from Virginia in 1844 to make a fresh start. Rosemary Harris is the mother, who at first is against picking up roots, but finally acquiesces. From there, they have a trek ahead of them. On the whole, I'm not a big fan of western or frontier films etc. except for the real classics (Shane, Lonesome Dove) but am a big fan of Robert Preston and something about the epic feel of the story drew me to this. The viewer is drawn in immediately and it soon became so real to me. I was very impressed with its respect of the people, their ethics, and their way of life. Ben Murphy, Brian Kerwin, and Charles Frank are some of the actors seen here, but the whole production was first rate, and I am glad I discovered it. I was unaware at the time of seeing this, though that this was not the full story. "The Chisholms" is out on DVD, but my review is for Season 1 only, which is Disk 1 only, out of three. Due to the success of the first run, they made a Part 2/Season 2, which recast several parts, due to the unavailability of actors, I would presume. Delta Burke is featured in the later part, but is not seen here. In my reading up on all this, I found some reviews that said that Part 2 was not half as good as the original and to stay away from it. I will heed that, so as to not taint this experience, and I hope you do too. If by chance, you buy the DVD of both seasons, watch only disk 1. "The Chisholms" is among the best of the television miniseries genre and deserves to be remembered, just as much as "The Thorn Birds" and "Roots."
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