Little House on the Prairie: Season 6, Episode 13

The Angry Heart (17 Dec. 1979)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Romance
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A 17-year-old budding criminal named Tod Dortmunder is sent to Walnut Grove to live with his grandparents after his mother loses patience with his ill-tempered behavior. His behavior ... See full summary »



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Title: The Angry Heart (17 Dec 1979)

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Episode credited cast:
Mary Ingalls Kendall (credit only)
Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Harriet Oleson (as Katherine MacGregor)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brewster Davenport


A 17-year-old budding criminal named Tod Dortmunder is sent to Walnut Grove to live with his grandparents after his mother loses patience with his ill-tempered behavior. His behavior becomes more violent, and when he is caught stealing Charles' watch, the grandparents (in part because they fear for their safety) turn to Charles for help. Charles proves to be the role model Tod never had, and efforts to rehabilitate the lad seem to be working. But even Charles is unaware of some dark secrets from Tod's childhood that don't surface until he destroys the present he gave him. Written by Brian Rathjen <>

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Release Date:

17 December 1979 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the church scene, as the congregation begins to sing the hymn, Almanzo can be seen leafing through his Bible as if trying to find the page as everyone sings. It's possible Dean Butler forgot the page before shooting the scene. See more »


Ring the Bells of Heaven
Words by William O. Cushing
Music by George F. Root
See more »

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User Reviews

Tough Love
31 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tod had a rough life. His abusive father was killed suddenly in a fight down on the docks and Tod was relieved to finally have his hateful father out of his life. He grew up full of hate and unforgivingness, and that never leads to good.

Tod is sent to stay with his grandparents in Walnut Grove, but it soon becomes clear that he is not happy to be there. Tod shoves his grandfather for waking him up too early, then punches him when his grandfather finds Tod with Charles' watch. He takes to wagon and rides to sleepy eye to play poker. When Charles catches up with him and has to pay to get his watch back, Tod's given a choice: work for Charles or go to jail. He chooses jail but then relents to go to work for college.

We've seen a few like this before. Charles tries to work the anger out of the man, and maybe he actually has something going on because it always seems to work. Tod's attitude soon changes.

The episode has a too-familiar ring to those that have similar underlying themes in them. It's memorable because the actor does such a good job portraying a bitter young man, and perhaps it deserves a higher rating then some of the other like it.

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