7.9/10
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2 user

Happy as the Grass Was Green (1973)

PG | | Drama, Romance | December 1973 (USA)
A Mennonite boy is beaten to death at an unnamed NY university protesting the Vietnam War. His best friend and another college student, Eric Mills, attends his funeral in the Mennonite country in Pennsylvania.

Director:

Charles Davis

Writers:

Merle Good (based on the novel by), Charles Davis (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Geraldine Page ... Anna Witmer
Pat Hingle ... Eli
Graham Beckel ... Eric Mills
Rachel Thomas Rachel Thomas ... Hazel
Stephen G. Weaver Stephen G. Weaver ... Jim Witmer (as Steve Weaver)
Luke Sickle Luke Sickle ... Menno Witmer
John Miller John Miller ... Ben
Noreen Huber Noreen Huber ... Sara
Elvin Byler Elvin Byler ... Rufus
Thomas Roy Thomas Roy ... Stanley
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Storyline

A Mennonite boy is beaten to death at an unnamed NY university protesting the Vietnam War. His best friend and another college student, Eric Mills, attends his funeral in the Mennonite country in Pennsylvania.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hazel's People See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
Music by Frederick Atkinson
Lyrics by George Croly
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User Reviews

 
Powerful drama of Pennsylvania Mennonites and an outsider..
17 July 2001 | by jake jSee all my reviews

The title of this film changed shortly after its release and was renamed "Hazel's People" (also its video title) and was presented nightly for years at the "People's Place" Amish attraction in Intercourse, PA in the heart of Penna. Dutch country. The amazing thing about this venue is that the film is anything but a paint-by-numbers whitewash of the ways of modern-day new order Mennonites but an incisive view of a Mennonite family stunned into the reality of the outside world when their son is beaten to death at an unnamed NY university protesting the Vietnam War. His best friend (portrayed with brilliant integrity by a then-slender Graham Beckel in the best role of his career), must deliver a message to the Lancaster family and his long-haired, unkempt demeanor quickly brings the family and community's deep rooted prejudices to the surface. Beckel struggles with this hypocracy and perceives quite accurately that the Mennonite family suffers the same jealousies, insensitivities and cruelty of the modern world when fear and hatred are justified by religious unity. The film pulls few punches and sports the accomplished casting of the great Geraldine Page and under-used Pat Hingle as the parents who grow to understand their limitations as parents and believers. The film survives its painfully low budget by the strength of its timeless and potent storytelling. A small and unheralded gem that portrays the lifestyles of the more conservative Mennonite better, in its own way, than "Witness" did in its superficial view of the Amish. Simple, smart and courageous- ***1/2 SCRAPPLES


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