IMDb > Amber Waves (1980) (TV)

Amber Waves (1980) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
9 March 1980 (USA) See more »
He was tough, he was hard 'til fate came searching.
Two seemingly disparate men experience powerful life lessons when a wheat harvester gives a hitch-hiking... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 7 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
Under the Dome Books Mare Winningham as Mysterious Caretaker
 (From Boomtron. 4 July 2013, 7:06 AM, PDT)

Dennis Weaver: 1924-2006
 (From IMDb News. 27 February 2006)

User Reviews:
Excellent TV movie which can be viewed on several levels. See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Dennis Weaver ... Elroy 'Bud' Burkhardt

Kurt Russell ... Laurence Kendall

Mare Winningham ... Marlene Burkhardt
Fran Brill ... Suze Winter

Wilford Brimley ... Pete Alberts

Rossie Harris ... Dougie Burkhardt

Grainger Hines ... Gregg Burkhardt

Eloy Casados ... Dwight Willits
Bill Morey ... Ansel Porter

Michael Talbott ... Tork Torkelson
Robby Weaver ... Russ Hahn
Penny Fuller ... Fern Jensen

Ted Dykstra
Jack Goth
Kay Grieve
Lucetta Jenison
Cathryn Johnston
Les Kimber
Don MacKay
Margaret Martin
Walter Massey
Bruce McCloud
Murray Ord
Jon York
Ted Stidder
Tony Whibley
Kay Robinson
Dale Wilson
Jane Wilson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Ralph ... Young Farmer (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph Sargent 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ken Trevey 

Produced by
Stanley Kallis .... producer
Philip Mandelker .... executive producer
Original Music by
John Rubinstein 
Cinematography by
Donald M. Morgan 
Film Editing by
Michael Brown 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
Production Design by
Paul Barnes 
Sound Department
Tom Cornwell .... sound editor
Peter Harrison .... sound editor
Andrew Herbert .... sound editor
Michael Hilkene .... sound editor
Fred Judkins .... sound editor
Chris Large .... sound mixer
Eddie Nelson .... sound mixer
George Porter .... sound mixer
Terry Porter .... sound mixer
Jill Taggart .... adr editor
Russ Tinsley .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Schwiebert .... camera operator
Calvin Sterry .... key grip
Bill Tenny .... gaffer
Casting Department
Janet Weir .... extras casting (uncredited)
Music Department
John Rubinstein .... conductor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
98 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Excellent TV movie which can be viewed on several levels., 30 November 1999
Author: Tom Martin from Lansing, Michigan

Despite its simple plot, this television movie can be viewed on several levels. This story of a stranded model who reluctantly takes a temporary job on a wheat harvesting crew is about the values we cherish. Kurt Russell as the model and Dennis Weaver as the cancer-stricken harvester who needs help on his crew lend real credibility to their roles. In less than two hours the script tells us the meaning of life and death and what love is and what it isn't. This film tells us about the self-renewal which can come from hard work and responsibility.

Kurt Russell plays Larry, a male model who is stranded in a small Kansas town when he screws up a photo shoot. He literally runs into Dennis Weaver, who is looking for a warm body for his harvesting crew. He isn't too particular or he wouldn't hire this man who has never done a honest days work and has the hands to show it. Despite some rough moments Russell learns the value of hard work and becomes a leader on the crew.

Several subplots are cleverly weaved into the delightful mix. Dennis Weaver finds that he has cancer and is advised by his doctor to "bail out". This is easier said than done, because he has obligations to farmers whose wheat must be cut. He reaches out to his son, who fled to Canada because of his objection to the war. It is obvious that there is still tension between the two of them and the son returns to Canada. There is a competing harvester (played by Wilford Brimley) whose son went to Viet Nam and was maimed. Mare Winningham plays Weaver's daughter, a girl who is looking for a ticket to a new life. In the end Larry offers the only hope for another harvest.

The focus of this film is the relationship between Russell and Weaver. Despite the difference in their backgrounds, they have much in common. They meet on a day which has not been kind to either of them. Russell has lost his job and Weaver has discovered his cancer. "It's been that kind of day", he tells Russell. Uneasy and volatile at first, the relationship develops into one of affection and even love.

Filmed in Canada there is much more emphasis on scenery than usual in this television movie. "Do you ever get tired of this?", Russell asks Weaver as he gazes across the wheat fields framed in the setting sun. I don't know about him, but I never did.

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