The American Experience: Season 10, Episode 8

A Midwife's Tale (19 Jan. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
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A docudrama adaptation of Ulrich's Pulitzer-winning book, which was based on thousands of entries in the journal of Martha Ballard, a Maine midwife, in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The... See full summary »

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Title: A Midwife's Tale (19 Jan 1998)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Ron Tough ...
Ephraim Ballard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ruth Anderson
Hania Barton ...
Sam Hardin
Jim Belding
Wallace Brown
Darrel Butler
John Harold Cail ...
(as John Cail)
Paula Dawson
Sarah Evans
Alyson Green
Guy Grenier
Susan Hayward
J. Hunter ...
(as Joel Hunter)
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A docudrama adaptation of Ulrich's Pulitzer-winning book, which was based on thousands of entries in the journal of Martha Ballard, a Maine midwife, in the late 1700's and early 1800's. The movie intercuts between reenactments of Ballard doing her Maine midwifery and related tasks, and Ulrich in her eight years of research on her book; in the end, clear comparisons are made between the work of the two women. Written by Anonymous

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19 January 1998 (USA)  »

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Such a realistic look at a time gone by
1 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I first saw this American Experience years ago and it left a lasting impression. Had to read the book but always wanted to see that dramatization. Just bought the DVD the other day. In short nothing I have seen or will ever see again seems so genuinely realistic as what life was like back in the late 1700's for a midwife-housewife. It was like a window into a time lost. I can only admire this woman for all her selfless tiresome drudgery to aid other women in their labor and to nurse sick and dying children.

The actors are amazing especially Ms. Lee, who was perfectly cast as Martha Ballad. She has such caring eyes and as she ages shows the wear and tear from such hard labor. To think that her written words are now part of history. How wonderful that she made her own ink and put it all down on paper. A must see for all.


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