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The Great Meadow (1931)

Berk leaves Diony and their baby to hunt down his mother's murderer and is believed to be dead. Evan provides for them & marries Diony. Berk returns and challenges Evan to a fight but Diony will not be fought over "as if I'm not human".




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Complete credited cast:
... Berk Jarvis (as John Mack Brown)
... Diony Hall
... Elvira Jarvis
... Betty Hall
... Evan Muir
... Rubin Hall (as Guinn Williams)
... Thomas Hall
... Mistress Molly Hall
... Sally Tolliver


In a little Virginia village in 1777, Daniel Boone comes and talks about Kentucky. He describes it as the promised land, with ample game and lush fields. Due to this speech, a group of villagers, including Berk and his new wife Diony, decide to trek the 500 miles to Kentucky. However, the dream soon fades to reality as they endure Indians, hunger, death and bad weather. After six months they finally stagger into the fort. Most of the settlers build homes and plant fields outside the fort, and the Indians, led by Black Fox, are out to kill them. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Western





Release Date:

24 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terra Virgem  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film received its first telecasts in both Altoona PA and Honolulu Wednesday 8 May 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10) and on KHVH (Channel 13); it first aired in Hartford CT 19 June 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Chicago 5 July 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in New Haven CT 8 July 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in New York City Monday 12 August 1957 on the Late, Late Show on WCBS (Channel 2), in Minneapolis 18 August 195 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Norfolk VA 11 September 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Salt Lake City 8 October 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), in Seattle 15 October 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Windsor ON 13 November 1957 on CKLW (Channel 9) (serving Detroit), in Akron 25 November 1957 on WAKR (Channel 49), in Tampa 7 December 1957 on WFLA (Channel 8), in Durham NC 10 December 1957 on WTVD (Channel 11), and in San Antonio 17 December 1957 on WOAI (Channel 4); there is no reliable documentation that it was ever televised in Philadelphia, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Today, it's occasionally taken out for an airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »


As the settlers depart on their voyage, their friends & family sing "Auld Lang Syne" to them. This scene takes place in 1777 and "Auld Lang Syne" wasn't written until 1788. See more »

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User Reviews

Up Against Indians and Microphones
7 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Inspired by frontiersman Daniel Boone, brawny John Mack Brown (as Berk Jarvis) decides to lead a group of settlers from relatively civilized Virginia to the great wilderness of Kentucky. Before embarking, Mr. Brown takes attractive Eleanor Boardman (as Diony Hall) as his wife. The 1770s terrain is rough, but the bloodthirsty Native Americans "Injuns" are rougher. It seems like they scalp someone close to Brown. Ouch. Brown is off to seek justice and leaves Ms. Boardman without a man around the house...

"The Great Meadow" would have looked much better as a "silent" movie, with sound effects and incidental dialogue. The director of several silent classics, Charles Brabin is clearly having trouble accommodating the changes in style necessitated by the new microphones. So is most of the cast. Brown, who had been fine in silent features, understandably moved from tenuous dramatic actor to "B" western movie star. Boardman, who had been exceptional in silent features, couldn't get a break and retired too early.

**** The Great Meadow (1/24/31) Charles Brabin ~ Johnny Mack Brown, Eleanor Boardman, Gavin Gordon, Lucille LaVerne

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