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Michael Landon Jr.
Set around the turn of the century. Jacob, a widowed farmer with two small children, places an ad in a paper for a new wife. The ad is answered by a spinster in Maine, who writes letters to them and describes herself as "plain and tall." And she takes a trip to Jacob's farm to see if she can make a difference. Written by
A long search was made to find working steam engine for Sarah's arrival. One was found at the Sturh Museum in Grand Island, Nebraska. The train was built in 1908 by the Baldwin Locamotive works. Unfortunately, the train needed extensive repairs before it's fires could be stoked. A timely contribution from the Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991) production saved the day. However, the train has been preserved and is on display at the towns museum. See more »
I thought when you were born, I said you were homely and plain. And you had terrible holler and a horrid smell.
And that it was my fault mama died the next morning?
[walks over to Caleb and hugs him]
I never thought that Caleb. Never. I forgot to say good night to her, that's all I could think about.
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This seems to be a minority opinion, but I actually liked the book "Sarah, Plain and Tall" much better than the movie. The book is spare, poetic and lovely. The romance of Jacob and Sarah is in the background, but Anna and Caleb's hopes to have a new mother are almost palpable. The lack of details allows rich play for the imagination, and Patricia MacLachlan is an absolute master at evoking the sights, the sounds, the very texture of the world in which her characters live. When Jacob puts his arm around Sarah for the first time in the book, it is a delightful surprise and it means so much because we are seeing it through the eyes of the children who so very much want Sarah to stay. The movie, by filling in all the gaps, and filling it with conversations which to me, felt too modern for the times, lost a lot of the magic of the story. Glenn Close did a wonderful job of embodying Sarah, but she was a little too adept in her ability to analyze Jacob's lingering grief and anger -- in those days they didn't do as much emotional analysis as we do now, and anyway, how would a spinster who lived with three elderly aunts know about a widower's inability to let go of grief? I think perhaps if I hadn't read the book first and loved it so deeply, I may have liked the movie more than I did. The book was a perfect example of the old writing adage, "show, don't tell," but ironically, the movie did way too much telling and not enough showing.
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