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Keeping the Promise (1997)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  5 January 1997 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 162 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Harsh elements, disease and dilemmas mark a Massachusetts family's move to uncharted Maine and a better life in 1768.

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Title: Keeping the Promise (TV Movie 1997)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
William (Will) Hallowell
...
Anne Hallowell
...
Matthew (Matt) Hallowell
...
Sakniss
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Hunter Ben Loomis
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Boat Agent
Allegra Denton ...
Sarah Hallowell
...
Young Girl (as Ruby Jean Gillett)
William Lightning ...
Attean
Ashley Saulnier ...
Older Child
Ben Saulnier ...
Young Man Walking
Justin Saulnier ...
Young Child
Pauline Saulnier ...
Woman with Children
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Storyline

Immigrated carpenter William 'Will' Hallowell hopes to make his family wealthy, after a fire ruined them in Springfield, Massachusettes, by moving to a claim in Maine territory. In order not to loose it, his son and apprentice Matt (13), a greenhorn city boy, must stay there while Will fetches spoiled wife and daughters, but an epidemic wrecks that plan. Matt is robbed by white neighbor Ben Loomis, but saved by old Penobscott Indian Sakniss, who demands in exchange mat teaches his his grandson Attean to read. From suspicion bordering on blind hatred, loyal friendship springs, yet the winter is unforgiving. Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

indians | fire | boy | theft | ritual | See All (19) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

5 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Oath  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Well-meaning but rather wan
2 July 2002 | by (Oklahoma) – See all my reviews

An admirable attempt to make a meaningful film about people struggling with real, life-or-death problems, and based on "The Sign Of The Beaver," a well-regarded children's novel. The scene in which the mother (Annette O'Toole) realizes that her child, whom she is cradling in her arms, has just died, is heart-wrenching, because you know that as rare as it has become in modern-day First World countries, it has happened millions of times in human history and probably still happens quite often in some places today.

However, the film suffers from being sanitized for modern TV audiences. Nobody was that clean in colonial times. And with few exceptions, the actors fail to convince that they are playing real people instead of performing for the camera in a Meaningful Period Piece. Also, I recall several glaring anachronisms that ought to have been picked up by any competent script editor and distract from the attempt at realism, as when Matthew says, "I tell you, I'm OKAY." (Emphasis added) According to the Oxford English Dictionary, that famous Americanism was not recorded in print until 1840.


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