American Playhouse: Season 4, Episode 6

Noon Wine (21 Jan. 1985)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 45 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

On a hot day in Texas in the the 1890s, a stranger shows up at the small dairy farm of Royal and Ellie Thompson. He asks for work and is hired. He's a taciturn, English-speaking Swede from ... See full summary »


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Title: Noon Wine (21 Jan 1985)

Noon Wine (21 Jan 1985) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Royal Earle Thompson
Olaf Helton
Homer T. Hatch
Teenage Herbert
Mr. McClellan
James N. Harrell ...
Tom Allbright
Lise Hilboldt ...
Ellie Thompson
Brent Hadaway ...
Teenage Arthur
Adam Faraizl ...
Young Arthur
Wayne Tippit ...
Mr. Burleigh
Enrique Brown ...
Young Herbert
Billie Keller ...
Mrs. McClellan
Shawn Sattler ...
McClellan Boy
Jerry Biggs ...
Mr. Manning


On a hot day in Texas in the the 1890s, a stranger shows up at the small dairy farm of Royal and Ellie Thompson. He asks for work and is hired. He's a taciturn, English-speaking Swede from North Dakota; he's competent, strong, and good at farming and dairying. The years pass, the farm flourishes. Then one day a second stranger, also from North Dakota, Homer Hatch, arrives and lives are changed in ways no-one could have imagined. Written by Eileen Berdon <>

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Plot Keywords:

remake | See All (1) »


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

21 January 1985 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of ABC Stage 67: Noon Wine (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Thought provoking adaptation
2 August 2004 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

Katherine Ann Porter's short story about a poor farmer who takes on a fugitive as his hired man has a number of complexities which can provoke discussions for years. There is an earlier version with Jason Robards, Olivia DeHavilland and Theodore Bikel which captures the theme of the story but comes out a bit stodgy in spite of the cast. This feature with Fred Ward, Stellan Skarsgård, Pat Hingle and the very beautiful and talented Lise Hilboldt captures much of the shadow nuances of Porter's original work.

Ward is especially effective as the turn of the century farmer whose life is transformed by the mysterious Swede who won't talk, works like a horse and plays the harmonica. Skarsgård, seen recently as the brutal Saxon king in the revisionist King Arthur, is superb as the taciturn Swede. Great support comes from veteran character actor, Pat Hingle,as the villainous bounty hunter and craggy, James Gammon as the sheriff. But, the bright light is the delicate but solid performance of Lise Hilboldt, as the wife who is caught in the middle of mixed feelings about the mysterious Swede, her marriage to her mercurial husband and her own conflicts.

As looking at a slice of life in desolate, South Texas, this little film works. I suppose the amazing thing is that it is a made for TV movie that has some substance-- considering that 90% of what is viewed on TV is pure garbage and the remaining 10% is on its way to becoming garbage. So, how did a thoughtful, provocative film like this make it through? Amazing. Simply amazing.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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