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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".



(adaptation), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »


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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>

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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

An Eastern Western
1 October 2010 | by See all my reviews

THE GREAT MEADOW is an early talkie "western" about settlers moving from Virginia, across the Appalachian Mountains into Kentucky. The film stars Johnny Mack Brown and Eleanor Boardman as a newly married couple who make the trek to "the great meadow" because of a speech given by Daniel Boone.

This is a solid film with excellent production values that do not glorify or simplify frontier life in 18th century America. Life is rugged and tenuous with starvation, illness, and Indian attacks all a part of everyday life.

Brown is solid as the impetuous settler who is up to any task of frontier life. He leads the band of settlers across the rugged mountains and keeps them moving despite the hardships. After his mother is killed by the Indians, he foolishly embarks on a journey of revenge. Boardman, who made only a handful of talkies, is quite good as the naïve young woman who trudges forth with her husband, only to be abandoned by him.

The supporting cast includes solid work by Lucille LaVerne (the mother), Gavin Gordon as Brown's rival, Russell Simpson, Julie Haydon, Dale Fuller, Guinn Williams, Anita Louise, Virginia Sale, Sarah Padden, John Miljan, and Helen Jerome Eddy as the woman driven crazy by Indian attacks.

Worth looking for.

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