Reviews written by registered user
|76 reviews in total|
This was on the USA network. This took place in Nebraska City, Nebraska. It's the same contest as is common where the last one standing touching a car wins the car, but in this program the prize was a Case International Maxxum tractor with cab and a loader. There were twelve contestants. The contest was held in a big tent or shed. There was a line of porta-potties for people to use when it was potty time. The contestants were not allowed any sleep. The contestants were friendly to each other. One young man found the contest harder than he thought it would be, and he dropped out. One farmwife was trying to win the tractor for her family, but she lost. One man brought a lowboy-trailer semi to the contest to haul the tractor home on, because he was planning on winning it, and in the end he did. He was disciplined and experienced in sleep deprivation. It seems like his name was Buster.
The Gordon Kahl incident, Medina, North Dakota on Sunday, February 13, 1983, was a forerunner to the James and Steven Jenkins incident, Ruthton, Minnesota in September, 1983, the whole mid-1980s farm crisis, and even Ruby Ridge and Waco. Gordon Kahl was a promoter of Posse Comitatus, and had a considerable following in North Dakota. Eventually, push came to shove. Kahl went down to the Arkansas Ozarks. But the FBI went in and got their man. The movie is based on a book written by James Corcoran who covered the news story for the Fargo Forum. The Georgia filming location suffices for North Dakota in winter? Not quite. There was a Dodge Ramcharger in the actual slaying incident. There was a small undercurrent of Posse Comitatus in North Dakota and Minnesota in the 1980s and early 1990s. They are a neo-Nazi sort of group. I think maybe an anti-Big Brother undercurrent would be a good thing if not taken to extreme extremes, but not a racist one.
David Carradine plays Fast Charlie Swattle, a motorcycle racer and kind of a con man. He tells everyone he's a World War I hero, but he's not. The race ran to California from Missouri or somewhere and was an important race for a motorcycle manufacturer to win. Fast Charlie rides a Moonbeam made by Pop Bauer in Moonbeam, Oklahoma. He gets somebody out of a jail by enticing the cop with a Model T Ford American Graffiti-style. Brenda Vaccaro plays Grace Wolf, a woman he discourages from marrying "Howard Hardware Store." Names in this movie include L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, Jesse Vint and Noble Willingham. Pretty good recreation of the early 1900s.
Disney biplane movie. Three is third generation. Two is second generation. Two takes Three to stay at Three's grandfather's farm in the California wine country while Two goes to Europe or somewhere. Three doesn't feel at home on the farm at first. A goose picks on him. Three starts up a Caterpillar and gets into trouble with it. But Three discovers that Grandpa has an old biplane. Grandpa used to be an ace pilot. Three and Grandpa can talk about aviation, and Three feels more at home. Three talks Grandpa into flying the old plane again. Grandpa and his farming cohort get it to flying, but the engine goes bad. Two comes back to get Three, driving a Volkswagen Beetle. Grandpa isn't allowed to take Three up in the plane because Two thinks it would be too dangerous, and he needs an engine from somewhere anyway. Do you think that Grandpa could manage to take Three for a flight before he has to leave?
Many people have been involved in a church Christmas pageant at one time or another, so there was bound to be a story like this. Take a typical middle-class family (the Bradleys) involved in a typical middle-class church Christmas pageant, a little uptight and steeped in tradition, and throw in some lower-class ruffian kids (the Herdmans) who take starring roles. This movie is a little different from the novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but that should be okay, because Barbara Robinson wrote them both. It seems like the book did say that the narrator figured that the Herdmans were going to hell, while the movie has her say she figured they were going to the devil. I suppose "devil" was supposed to be less offensive than "hell," but I'd rather have the narrator say "hell" like in the novel. Loretta Swit from M*A*S*H plays the mother directing the pageant. You might think this would be an unlikely role for her, but she does a good job.
This was on NBC after Little House on the Prairie. It was an okay family show. Aimed at teenagers and their parents. There was a movie Lucas Tanner. Lucas Tanner was a guidance counselor or teacher in a high school. Lived in Websters Grove, Missouri. Guess he was a widower. Recall he drove a full-sized Chevrolet station wagon. David Hartman played him. David was in Miracle on 34th Street. Had some other acting roles. Got into the news business in a big way. Was on ABC's Good Morning America. Well, naturally, Lucas Tanner had a principal or superintendent to be his superior. One of the most memorable characters of Lucas Tanner was Robbie Rist's Glendon Farrell, a little boy whose parents were away in the Peace Corps or something.
Filmed and set in Manitoba, Canada. Jacob was supposed to marry Madeline, but he runs off and becomes a hotel/club piano player and singer. So Madeline marries his brother Daniel. Twenty years later, Jacob comes back home. Jacob's father is overjoyed to see the prodigal son return. Daniel's dairy farm has a stray voltage problem which even kills dairy cows. A new power line is needed, but the hydro (power) company won't do anything about it. The family eventually cuts off the power and uses home-generated power. Daniel's oldest son gets frustrated. This movie is more about dairy farming than harvesting, but I guess it makes a nice metaphor or something. What the family needs is an old-fashioned barn raising deal to build a new power line. Why won't the power company solve the problem? But remember that stray voltage is a problem in real life.
This was supposed to be in Colorado, but seems like it said it was filmed in Canada. A man goes to town and hangs out with some drinking buddies and gets killed by a rancher in defense. The man who killed him tells his widow that he'd help her if necessary. She later decides to marry him. The man wasn't expecting a request that drastic, but he agrees to it. The woman's boy is out hauling hay and sees a wild pony in a herd of wild horses and lets the team run away. But the rancher turns out to be a pretty good father. The boy eventually gets to have the wild pony for his own and the man and woman feel like they love each other.
Set in the 1930s at Henrietta, Texas, near Wichita Falls. Don Day is a farmer. He and his family are surviving on cornbread. Robert Duvall plays Mr. Cox, an oil prospecting expert. A realistic dust storm is shown. Mr. Cox tells Don Day that there is oil under his land, although the area is thought to be dry by the oil drilling industry. Don Day bets everything he has on striking oil. He pulls a drilling rig home with his Fordson. Mr. Cox is a decent sort of a man, but the oil drilling industry has some unsavory characters in it. They do strike oil, and pressure blows the pipes out of the ground. Don't know if this is a true story, but seems like it could have been.
The way I remember it, Meg Laurel was born in the Appalachians and suffered medical mistreatment from the local backwoods doctor. Later she became a successful woman doctor in the city. But she has nightmares of being mistreated in the Appalachians and figures she has no choice but to make a journey back to the Appalachians to provide modern medical care and make amends with the past that is haunting her. It seems that on the wagon trip up the mountains from the railroad, some of her stuff falls out of the wagon and down a cliff. She doesn't get along well with Granny Arrowroot. Most local people don't have anything to do with her, either. Eventually she and the hillbillies come to terms. She becomes ill herself and needs something that went over the cliff.
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