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The Long Road Home (1999)

 |  Drama
6.0
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After his mother died, 12 year old Seth goes to live with his grandparents on their farm. Grouchy old Murdock is not very happy with the presence of his grandson and is rather hard on him. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Murdock Haynes
T.J. Lowther ...
Seth George
Sandra Shotwell ...
Neldra Haynes
...
Annie Jacobs
Al Harrington ...
Andy Lamebull
...
Jim Jacobs
...
Missy Jacobs
Billy Oscar ...
Blackie
...
Rob Taylor (as Kasey Clyde)
...
Annie's Friend
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Storyline

After his mother died, 12 year old Seth goes to live with his grandparents on their farm. Grouchy old Murdock is not very happy with the presence of his grandson and is rather hard on him. He was strongly opposed to the mixed marriage of his daughter and doesn't want to hear anything about Seth's Indian father who died a hero in Vietnam when Seth was still a baby. His grandmother on the other hand was very fond of Seth but after a while she passes away. So Seth and his grandfather are on their own now... Written by <willy.vanhaelen@advalvas.be>

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User Reviews

 
Grim verbal child abuse tale
20 September 2014 | by (Victoria, BC. Canada) – See all my reviews

"Long Road Home" is not about a journey. It takes place completely on ranch in the USA. Seth is 12, played by an 11 year old actor, but who could easily pass for 16, the reverse of the usual way of doing things. He is not your typical cute button-nose child actor. He is a gangly everyboy. Both his parents have died and he has nowhere to go but to live with his grandparents. Grandpa is a mean old cuss, with never a kind word for anyone, demanding, outshouting others to get his own way, racist, bigoted, selfish, cutting, derogatory, narrow minded, a bully. He treats Seth as a slave endlessly assigning chore after chore, not letting him go to school. Grandpa is verbally abusive, but not physically abusive.

To make matters worse, Seth's only companion is a slightly older girl on a neighbouring ranch who contemptuously toys with him.

He is stuck in hell with no prospects of escape, just flights of melodramatic imagination. Granny unexpectedly dies making matters even worse.

Seth gradually becomes more skillful with horses, machinery and livestock. He appears to be doing nearly all his own stunts. I was impressed.

Grandpa expelled the Seth's mother from the home, but he would never tell Seth why. Eventually most of the story is revealed, but it still makes little sense.

Eventually Seth saves Grandpa's life, and Grandpa has a miraculous change of attitude. I thought of the Victorious Messenger in "Mack The Knife", that made possible the happy ending, but that was so preposterously improbable, the happy ending became a sham. The believable part of the ending is Seth discovers there are kind people in the world, not his Grandpa, he can count on.

I was a physically and sexually abused kid myself. Had I seen this film as a child, I would have strongly identified with it, and I would have hooted at the ending at just too silly for words. Nothing but Grandpa's death, perhaps eaten by hogs, would have sufficed as a "happy" ending.


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