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Seduction in a Small Town (1997)

Paul Jenks and his wife Sarah left California with their lovely son David and daughter Ivy and started a farm in his native small town. Sarah is a short-tempered vegetarian, who doesn't ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sarah Jenks
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Sam Jenks
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Pat Carter
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Paul Jenks
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David Jenks
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Sandy Barlow
Ashley Doty ...
Ivy Jenks
Valerie Ann Pearson ...
Willa Jenks
Stephen Hair ...
Reverend Mike Burke
Shawna Lori Burnett ...
Laura Nash
Maureen Thomas ...
Lavonne Burke
...
Alice Tuller (as Stephanie Mills)
Donna Larson ...
Kristen Hadley
Christine MacInnis ...
Judith Dowd
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Deputy Boyd
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Storyline

Paul Jenks and his wife Sarah left California with their lovely son David and daughter Ivy and started a farm in his native small town. Sarah is a short-tempered vegetarian, who doesn't really fit in the agricultural community. Sandy Barlow, a drifting accountant with shaky finances, envies their family happiness, worms her way in -as she does all over town-, fails to impress him with her female charms but pretends her aunt has the same hart disease as Sarah and asks the couple to spring her the money for an operation. When they answer they don't even have that much, everything is mortgaged, she swears revenge and takes it out on the whole family. Kristen Hadley, who didn't even finish her training in Social Services, buys the story Sandy gets five locals women to co-sign about child-abuse by Sarah, so the sheriff is send to take both young children away, and not just once for a day with Paul's parents... Written by KGF Vissers

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

9 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Harvest of Lies  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 8 February 1997 (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not a work of art, but...
20 July 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a political movie in reaction to the child-abuse hysteria that swept this country during the eighties and early nineties, only this time the good guys are the parents and bad guys are the social workers and the accusers. You don't have to guess who's who when Melissa Gilbert plays the mother, nor when Dennis Weaver plays the grandfather. This is Little House on the Prairie circa 1997 versus Big Brother (as played by the social welfare system). We can depend on TV MOW's to reflect the current PC position, even if they have to make a 180 degree turn from what they were spouting just a few years ago.

Joely Fisher does an excellent job as the evil woman who makes the false accusations and tries to frame the mother out of jealousy. Brian McNamara gives a not-so-strangely Michael Landon- ish portrayal of the father despite the scraggly beard, while Dennis Weaver is something close to wonderful in a bit part as the grandfather. Gilbert, looking solid and healthy, is steady but without finesse in a part big enough for a great actress.

When we see the cop cars and the social welfare people drive up and haul off the family's two children, we know this is about war in American, the family against the larger community. Unfortunately there are few shades of gray in the script: the family is clearly innocent and victimized. Nonetheless, since MOWs always reflect the zeitgeist and of course pander to their audiences, telling them what they want to hear, this movie is clear and welcome evidence that the public has finally seen that the social welfare industry has been given too much power: the crucial point being that it is horribly wrong to allow children to be taken from their parents without due process of law. With this movie it might be said that the tide has turned and the justice system and the public have awaken from their long, self-induced nightmare of hysteria. One hopes so.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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