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Dallas: The Early Years (1986)

Digger Barnes is furious when his friend Jock Ewing starts dating the love of his life Ellie Southworth. He is also convinced that Jock has cheated him out of his share in their oil field. And so begins the decades long Barnes-Ewing feud.

Director:

Writer:

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Willard 'Digger' Barnes
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Jock Ewing
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Ellie
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Jason Ewing
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Aaron Southworth
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Seth Foster
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Ed Porter
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Amanda
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Dr. Ted Johnson
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Newman
Wendel Meldrum ...
Honey
Josef Rainer ...
Sam Culver (as Joe Rainer)
Marjie Rynearson ...
Barbara Southworth
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Cherie
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Storyline

Prequel to the popular "Dallas" TV series focuses on the origins of the Ewing-Barnes feud during the 1930's. Larry Hagman provides the opening narration for the film. The story opens at a 1951 barbecue with "Digger" Barnes firing a shot at "Jock" Ewing. Immediately flashing back to the depression, the two men first meet in a boxcar as both are hoboing. Their original friendship is built on their desires to find oil. But their failings start as they both compete for the hand of the beautiful Miss Ellie. Jock is shown to be an honorable man caught up in a backlash. Digger is a neurotic, alcoholic with a gift for finding oil. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The no holds barred story of the rise to power of the Ewing Dynasty

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dallas quand tout a commencé...  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place from 1933 to 1951. See more »

Goofs

In the last scene, young Cliff pulls his sister Pam away from a swing being pushed by little Bobby. In the next shot, as the camera pulls back from him, Bobby is no longer standing behind the swing but clear to the side of it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J.R. Ewing: Well, I don't know how much help I can give you. Daddy didn't keep any records in the early years.
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Connections

Spun-off from Knots Landing (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dallas: The Early Years provided a fine background of the Barnes-Ewing feud for me
13 June 2012 | by (Baton Rouge, LA) – See all my reviews

Because the new "Dallas" series with three of the original cast members premiered a few hours ago on TNT (which I won't be able to see for awhile since I don't have cable and the site it's on isn't easy to get into), I decided to watch on YouTube this movie which chronicled the origin of the Barnes-Ewing feud. It started with J.R. (Larry Hagman, of course) talking to a reporter about his view about what happened between his dad Jock Ewing and Willard "Digger" Barnes to cause such animosity though he admits he doesn't know the whole story. Then we jump to 1951 at the annual barbecue as the now-bitter and drunk Barnes attempts to shoot Jock and then we go to 1933 as Willard and Ellie were initially dating. I'll stop there and just say this was even better than I first remembered when first watching back in 1986 when this first aired. Kudos to David Marshall Grant as Digger, Dale Midkiff as Jock, and Molly Hagan as Ellie for perfectly bringing the characterizations of the younger version of these legendary people to life. Among the supporting turns, I also liked seeing Diane Franklin as Jock's first wife Amanda, Hoyt Axton as Ellie's father Aaron Southworth, and Bill Duke as sharecropper Seth Foster on screen as well as the young J.R. played by Kevin Wixted. Creator David Jacobs certainly knows how to provide enough atmosphere in filling the background of these characters and Jarrold Immel is fine with the score he provided here which is no surprise since he did create the theme song, after all! So on that note, I highly recommend Dallas: The Early Years if you're a die hard fan of the show. P.S. When watching this again, I realized that Ms. Hagan was later one of Herman's consciences in "Herman's Head" which I enjoyed. And that Dale Midkiff would a year or so later play Elvis Presley in the TV movie version of Elvis and Me which was based on the memoirs of Priscilla Presley who was playing Jenna Wade on the show at that time. And, no, I didn't recognize this Diane Franklin as the same one that played Karen in The Last American Virgin. She sure fooled me!


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