In 1854, the Hazards pay a visit to Mont Royal. Billy loses his interest in Ashton when he sees her in the cotton barn with another man and soon turns his interest to the demure Brett. ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elkanah Bent (credit only)
John Brown (credit only)
Maum Sally


In 1854, the Hazards pay a visit to Mont Royal. Billy loses his interest in Ashton when he sees her in the cotton barn with another man and soon turns his interest to the demure Brett. Virgilia is on her best behavior, as she has promised, until she meets James Hontoon's coachman Grady and forms an instant attraction to him. After spending the night together, she helps him run away to the North which leads to a confrontation with Huntoon. Orry feels he has little choice but to ask the Hazards to leave. Virgilia and Grady are soon living together as husband and wife but that doesn't sit well with even some of the most ardent supporters of abolition. In 1856, Billy and Charles graduate from West Point with Billy assigned to the Engineering Corps in Washington and Charles assigned to the 3rd Cavalry under the command of Robert E. Lee. Billy proposes to Brett but Orry will not allow him to court her given the current situation. Ashton continues to lie her way through society and turns to ... Written by garykmcd

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Drama | History | Romance | War





Release Date:

7 November 1985 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When James Huntoon quotes the 10th Amendment, he drops "respectively" and adds "whereas" The real 10th amendment says; "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively or the people." Huntoon says; ""The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states or the people thereof." See more »


Virgilia: You see him as a nigger! And I see him as a man that deserves to be free!
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Episode Four: Love vs Conventions; The Young Follow In The Old's Footsteps
9 May 2012 | by (Cieszyn, Poland) – See all my reviews

"Come, tune your voices, comrades,

And stand up in a row,

For singing sentimentally,

we're going for to go.

In the Army, there is sobriety,

Promotion's very slow,

So we'll sing our reminiscences of

Benny Haven's, oh!"

(a verse by West Point class of the well known protagonists)

Yes, West Point! GET GOING! It is here again...this time it is not Stick and Stump (Orry and George) but Cousin Charles (Lewis Stone) and Billy Hazard (John Stockwell). Another lifelong friendship between the north and the south!

The Hazards visit the Mains at Mont Royal: not only has the word of honor been broken and the abolitionist flame being fanned towards desiring freedom for slaves but also the growing love of the youngest members of the families (Brett and Billy) blooms. Will love conquer disastrous conventions and prefabricated laws of lifestyles?

Episode Four deals with some of the most important aspects of the novel by John Jakes: Billy and Charles graduate West Point (highly condensed aspects of their study and changing sentiments at West Point - the series skips Caleb Slocum - a sort of 'second Elkanah Bent). But, TV series has something more attractive to offer...ALL WE NEED IS LOVE! Billy falls in love with Brett but...what do the family say to that? More controversy arises when Virgilia finds the love of her life in South Carolina. Madeline's core of suffering reaches its climax when her ancestry and her philanthropic nature are brought to light. Among the supporting characters, our attention is directed to laughable James Huntoon (Jim Matzler) and wretched Forbes LaMotte (William Ostrander) as the two men whose object of desire is...Ashton Main (Terri Garber). Her tricks seduce them equally as they seduce many of the young soldiers who lose too many West Point buttons from their uniforms. One of the moral dilemmas incorporated in the episode is Madeline helping Ashton in 'losing a bastard child'... The sensual climax tops at Virgilia-Grady love scene while the emotional one evokes at Huntoon's reaction to tidings about his coachman, Grady. In all, the best scenes of Episode Four include:

  • the haunting moment when agonizing Nicholas Fabray (Lee Bergere)
reveals the secret to his daughter Madeline (the novel refers to this moment much earlier);

  • at Benny Haven's where two old friends meet, remember the old days at
the Academy and sing their verse quoted at the beginning of my review - a genuine, though difficult talk between two best friends about a prospect of marriage that would link their families;

  • some atmospheric shots of South Carolinian nature as Madeline and
Maum Sally travel to one secret spot at the marshes with Ashton;

  • Virgilia - Grady love affair, including their scene at the New York
flat with the mention of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN and depiction of their fanatical side of abolitionist movement;

  • the true face of Ashton revealed more and more, particularly at the
West Point romances. Consider her vamp mind when she strips Billy's friends and compares this act to a slave auction she observed in secret;

The tragic finale of the episode resembles best the description of Justin LaMotte in Jakes's novel: "the man pretended to be a gentleman, but it was a sham." Some are desperate, some brutally deprived of dignity and even deprived of life...a bit overdone emotionally? Not really. It rather proves a man can truly be a beast. In such a reality, is there a hope for a better future and mutual harmony? "The indigestible lump of slavery" (Bruce Catton to whom John Jakes refers to) was bound to failure in its core. Such a concept of existence, such pathology of cruelty in the south made it finally come to a bad end...

There are beautiful words in the novel that come to my mind whenever I see the final scene of this episode, in a way, representing the idea behind the rising conflict: "Fight and quarrel have a – well, almost trivial sound. They suggest people are falling out over hairstyles or the cut of a lapel. This argument runs much deeper. It goes all the way down to bedrock. Are you entitled to hold someone in bondage just because that person has black skin?"

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