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The Pride of Jesse Hallam (1981)

Jesse Hallam, an illiterate coal miner from Kentucky, moves to Cincinnati so that his daughter may receive spinal surgery. Determined to support his family in the city, he decides he must ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jesse Hallam
...
Marion Galucci
Ben Marley ...
Ted Hallam
...
Sal Galucci
...
Policeman
Chrystal Smith ...
Jenny Hallam
...
Uncle Charley
Linda Bennett ...
Receptionist
Viola Borden ...
Mrs. Kleeman
Michael Burnham ...
Tully
Tara Cash ...
Student
Malinda Comer ...
Clerk
Ray Comier ...
Trucker
William Dickerson ...
Schofield (as William Dickenson)
Dale Doerman ...
2nd Policeman
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Storyline

Jesse Hallam, an illiterate coal miner from Kentucky, moves to Cincinnati so that his daughter may receive spinal surgery. Determined to support his family in the city, he decides he must learn how to read and write as an adult, and resolves to graduate from high school. Written by Anonymous

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3 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Analphabet  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[last lines]
Jesse Hallam: You want to do what I've been doin' all my life - runnin' away from words? Well, that's up to you, but you got to know... it's a poverty trade. And right here and now you could be diggin' youself a hole in the bottom of a mountain that you're never goin' to climb back up out of. Well, not me - and not my boy. We're goin' to high school and we're goin' to graduate and nobody or nothin's goin' to stop us. We're going to learn to read.
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Soundtracks

Paradise
Sung by Johnny Cash
Written by John Prine
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User Reviews

 
Trying Time for an Illiterate in the Big City.
4 December 2002 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

There are 25 million functional illiterates in the United States, and this film made for television is purportedly based upon events in the life of one of them, Jesse Hallam, portrayed here in typically wooden fashion by Johnny Cash, primarily about Hallam's troubles after moving to a large city (Cincinnati). Hallam, a miner since 14 from the Coal Fields sector of Western Kentucky in Muhlenberg County, has no choice but to leave his country home when his young daughter requires spinal surgery in the Ohio metropolis, paid with cash in advance obtained from the sale of his property after his wife's death. He pits his native intelligence and work ethic against the problem of not being able to read or write, and discovers that in order to support himself and his two children, he must become literate; scenes involving the methods used in developing his new skills are the most engrossing of the production. Brenda Vaccaro plays Marion Galucci, vice-principal of the high school which Jesse's son Tom attends, doing her best with an underwritten role as Hallam's mentor, and one must appreciate the spirited performance of veteran Eli Wallach as her father Sal, employer and sponsor of the erstwhile coal miner. Adequately helmed by television director Gary Nelson, the work's stature rises from fine camera-work by Gayne Rescher, while Cash sings several appropriate songs on the sound track, which features some excellent instrumental performances, including deft banjo work by Oscar Scruggs.


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