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Michael Landon, the Father I Knew (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

An engaging story of the relationship between a son and his less-than-perfect father.

Author: Troydawg from Tucson, Arizona
26 May 1999

While I was prepared for a nasty tell-all in the form of "Mommy Dearest," as the reviewer in TV Guide had written, I was pleasantly surprised to see a poignant story of the son of a once-loving father having to come to terms with his own and his father's imperfections.

While it was a joy to see the depicted Michael Landon, Jr. eventually triumph over many life-controlling problems, and learn to love his father, the viewer will be compelled to use up a box of Kleenex when he learns that his father, the nationally-beloved Michael Landon, must inevitably die of inoperable cancer. Even though many of us lived through it ourselves as we watched Michel Landon's courageous fight against pancreatic cancer in the news, it was even tougher this time; we had to see the process through the eyes of a loving son who is unable to help his father fight a relentlessly progressing disease.

Most surprising of all is the clarity of Michael Landon, Jr's directorial vision. From the first moment, his style easily drew the viewer in to the point that the audience could actually experience what it was like to be part of the Landon family. That makes watching the family deteriorate later on even more involving and immediate. He will grow to be a true master of the art of film as he matures. I look forward to more of his work.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The Man Behind the Hollywood Star...

Author: angelalways_91 from United States
29 July 2005

This was a wonderful documentary! Michael Landon Jr. did a great job at directing these characters. Also, he chose actors that really fit the roles. John Schneider fit into the role of Michael Sr. like a duck to water.Fifteen minutes into the movie I forgot that wasn't Michael Sr. standing on the screen once again! The three actors playing Jr,too, did a great job in their roles. The actors were fairly young but acted with such skill as a Hollywood Veteran. This movie is perfect for anyone even if your not a fan of either Landon man. Still for the fans it shows the Hollywood icon being what he really was good at and thats just being a real human being! For the first time we see the Michael Landon few saw while he was behind closed doors. Bravo to Michael Landon Jr. for a superb film.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Above average TV movie

Author: Gary Rosohac from New Cumberland. WV
1 June 1999

So, the film lacks all of the hype of recent Tv movies. But makes up for it in good performances. I was truly impressed with John Schneider's performance. At first, I didn't even know it was him. He melts into the character of Michael Landon with ease. The film revolves around Michael Landon Jr.'s memories of his father and his life growing up as the son of a famous actor. His father is portrayed as the wholesome figure we all knew from his shows, but grows into a cheating husband and throws his families away, again and again. It was refreshing to see a different aspect of Michael Landon's life.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Shown on UK satellite TV as "A Father's Son"

Author: Johnwil
18 June 2002

A homage from a son to a deceased father. It is always regretable to knock a tribute movie but due to a bad script the acting is flat and on occasions well over the top. (No children welcome their father in such a manner unless he has been away for a couple of hundred years.) Incidents like Landon Sr. bending a cheeky guy's finger for swearing in front of his children appear contrived and incidental to the story. As a whole the movie sprawls over too long a time period. I feel Landon Jr. should have focussed more tightly on key incidents and looked deeper into his own emotions, maybe then, the viewer could have more sympathy with his (Landon Jr's), predicament. The editing lacks sharpness and slows a boring movie down to a snail's pace. Even for daytime TV this movie has very little to engage the interest.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Heart-rending story... very realistic view on divorce.

Author: jennywraye from United States
29 July 2005

It's a heart-rending story from the perspective of an older child on divorce. Very realistic on divorce. There is no such thing as a 'civil' divorce - especially when children are involved. It tears at their hearts for years. People forget that stars, even their favorites are still fallible people and some of the choices they make devastate loved ones around them. I liked Michael Landon Sr. and the pictures he made. And I still enjoy watching them. I've also recently watched his son's movies and have enjoyed them too. I hope he is a good father in real life and uses the pain his father caused to stay committed to his wife. Too many throw away marriages today... every one looking for the "happily ever after" that is unrealistic and won't work at making a good marriage and a stable family home for the next generation. It is work - but the dividends are well worth it. Hollywood has glorified adultery for too long, ignoring the pain it causes or portraying the hurt party as deserving of the disloyalty... and portraying the third party as an innocent. There is nothing innocent or pure or noble about having a sexual relationship with someone else's spouse. It's selfish. But enough of the soap box. It was sad, but good. Dr. J. Wraye

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

I found the movie to be believable

Author: tameramurdock from United States
17 March 2006

Michael Landon, junior did a good job, as his life with a very famous father seems to have brought him maturity. Meaning that he is able to love his father, whose warts abound as much as any of us. Most times, we find it more than a little hard to love our parents when we discover that they are as human as we are!

I think "his" account (personal viewpoint) of his dad is told as honestly as he was able to tell it. I hope he follows this movie up with a sequel. It would be nice to know how all of the Landon children survived the death of their dad. I imagine that the writing and the directing of this life experience was more than a little helpful to the author.

If there is one thing that stands out in the movie, it is the work ethic his father had. The movie show us how Michael junior learned how to work hard instead of sponging off of his wealthy parents. There are a few things like the example of "hard work" in the movie that make it more than just merely beneficial to watch.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

John Schneider Deserves an Emmy!

Author: Fawn from El Paso, Texas
23 August 1999

I was quite impressed with John Schneider's performance of the late-great star. His portrayal was honest and well acted. This role shows the entire world that John has gone beyond the slick talking Bo Duke and is capable of so much more.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not a good film AT ALL. Poor depiction of a wonderful man!!

Author: Roy Smith from United States
14 March 2013

This is the worst movie made about one of the best men of Hollywood. I knew Michael Landon personally and worked with him on the set of Highway To Heaven. This movie was obviously a money making venture. Michael Landon was always a loving father. He was a gracious and very kind man who would give you the shirt off of his back. Sure, he was divorced but he was also married for 20 years to the same woman and gave Michael Jr. more love and affection in those years than most kids will ever get from both parents combined. Michael was truly the most remarkable man I have ever known. His love for his family and his heart was one of PURE GOLD. He had faults, sure...but Jr. needs to take a close look at himself and be careful lest he falls as well. I DO NOT recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of Michael Landon. Bad film all around.

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Cheesy TV star biography

Author: Mikew3001 ( from Hamburg, Germany
2 April 2003

This film is about the life and times of Michael Landon, fifties teenage b-movie actor and star of successful and long-running TV series like "Bonanza", "Little House on the Prairie" and "Highway to Heaven". It focuses on the private life of Landon, reaching from his early "Bonanza" days in the sixties to his sad cancer death in 1991.

Directed by his son, Michael Landon jr., it is rather an autobiography about a tragic father and son relationship. As Landon left his family very early for another younger woman, it's the only thing that this movie is really about. What could have become an interesting portrait of a TV actor is just a boring and cheesy kitchen sink drama and a bit of an autotherapy of the director. You won't learn much about Landon or his works, but more about his hair styles during all those decades. And that's not enough for an interesting movie.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

From the reviews I have read...

Author: ( from United States
12 January 2011

For any parent who has several adult children, the odds are that one of those children are going to have strong negative feelings about something true or perceived to be true about something their parent did or did not do.

I had the honor of writing (in 1996) the online biography for the 'Michael Landon International Internet Fan Club. I grew up watching Bonanza and raised my own family during Little House on the Prairie. I once again travelled with Michael during Highway to Heaven.

Michael had his own set of problems with his parents, which had nothing to do with divorce. Michael Sr.'s problems were those of 'identification'. His father, a Jew, was a workaholic and detached from his mentally ill mother, who was a Catholic.

It is pretty easy to see why Michael Landon became a 'controller' as he matured during his later 'Bonanza' days. He lived, as a child, teen and young adult in a home that he had little, if any, control over his own life.

What happened between Michael Landon and his second wife, Lynn Noe was between them. I spoke extensively to the late Victoria King, Michael's older sister. She related that Lynn, who became a 'born again Christian' was at odds with Michael, who was happy being Jewish and that his children, particularly Michael Jr., was angry because of his parents' divorce, but also because his father would not 'convert' to Christianity.

Vicky said that even during the time that Michael was dying he was told by family members that he would 'go to hell', if he didn't convert. Thank God that God is the Judge of our fate. Otherwise, we would all be in trouble.

One of the statements Michael Landon made that really hit home with me was, "In my dreams, my children love me". I do pray that his children will forgive him for what they think or perceive to be wrongs against them. He could have left them without a dime to fend for themselves, but he loved his children, provided for them, their mothers and even his own mother and sister, which he did not have to do.

Michael Landon, thanks for all the fond memories you gave and continue to give millions, (thank goodness for reruns!) and, may your memory be for a blessing.

Carol 'Channah Leah' Shoemaker

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