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Young Pioneers' Christmas (1976)

A young couple and their neighbours celebrate Christmas in 1874 on the Dakota prairie. Despite tragedy and an ongoing battle with the Railway company, Christmas is a homespun and overly ... See full summary »


Michael O'Herlihy




Complete credited cast:
Linda Purl ... Molly Beaton
Roger Kern ... David Beaton
Robert Hays ... Dan Gray
Kay Kimler ... Nettie Peters
Robert Donner ... Mr. Peters
Britt Leach ... Loftus
Arnold Soboloff Arnold Soboloff ... Yancy
Brendan Dillon ... Doyle
Rand Bridges Rand Bridges ... Pike
Brian Melrose Brian Melrose ... Charlie Peters
Sherri Wagner Sherri Wagner ... Flora Peters


A young couple and their neighbours celebrate Christmas in 1874 on the Dakota prairie. Despite tragedy and an ongoing battle with the Railway company, Christmas is a homespun and overly sentimental affair. This program was recommended by the National Education Association. Written by Monica Davidson <halifax@zeta.org.au>

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Drama | Western


Did You Know?


The novel on which this telefilm was based, 'Young Pioneers' was written by Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the books on which Little House on the Prairie (1974) was based. See more »


Followed by The Young Pioneers (1978) See more »

User Reviews

A sequel which can stand alone, these young newly marrieds suffer before learning the true meaning of the holiday
14 December 2015 | by inkblot11See all my reviews

Molly Beaton (Linda Purl) and her husband, David (Roger Kern) have come to the prairie in South Dakota, expecting to work hard to fulfill their dreams. The first year, as presented in an earlier film, has passed. But, the joy in the birth of their first child, Davey, turns to sorrow at the beginning of this one. A fever caught hold of the little lad, he has died, and they are holding his funeral. Their closest friends and neighbors have come to attend the service. Dan (Robert Hays) a bachelor with a close homestead, conducts the ceremony. The other party, a widower and his three children, help comfort the couple. But, are they truly comforted? No, as both are suffering greatly. Yet, instead of clinging to each other and crying their eyes out, they both withdraw into themselves. Molly can't stand the site of Davey's toys or cradle while David has no idea how to go on. Unexpectedly, the get a new direction when the railroad sends a bad messenger to tell Dan they are confiscating his place for the train's tracks. Dan wants to fight to the end but David aids him in finding a new plot of land. Also, new saplings arrive to help relieve the landscape of the barren prairie and Molly eventually gets more involved in the motherless trio of children near her. Will there be a celebration at Christmas? This somber story of life on the harsh, treeless South Dakota prairie has rich benefits for the viewer. Based on memoirs by Rose Wilder Lane, it examines the courage, determination, and love for the land which the pioneers had. It also presents a time when presents for Christmas were homemade and heartfelt and folks counted their blessings in a real way. Suitable for the whole family to view, YPC would make a fine film for a night when all the relatives are gathered together in the spirit of the holiday.

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Release Date:

17 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gwiazdka na prerii See more »

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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