18 user 7 critic

Harper Valley P.T.A. (1978)

PG | | Comedy | 7 August 1980 (Mexico)
A carefree single mother challenges the local PTA after they threaten to expel her daughter from school, due to her lifestyle.


Richard C. Bennett, Ralph Senensky (uncredited)


George Edwards (screenplay), Barry Schneider (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Eden ... Stella Johnson
Ronny Cox ... Willis Newton
Nanette Fabray ... Alice Finely
Louis Nye ... Kirby Baker
Audrey Christie ... Flora Simpson Reilly
Ron Masak ... Herbie Maddox
John Fiedler ... Bobby Taylor
Susan Swift ... Dee Johnson
Pat Paulsen ... Mr. Harper
Bob Hastings ... Skeeter
Fay DeWitt ... Willa Mae Jones (as Fay De Witt)
J.J. Barry ... Tex
Royce D. Applegate ... Dutch
Irene Yah-Ling Sun ... Myrna Wong (as Irene Yah Ling Sun)
Louise Foley Louise Foley ... Mavis


Stella Johnson is a single mother living in the town of Harper Valley. Now most of the townspeople, particularly on the PTA board, they feel she dresses too sexy and is a little too "loose" for them, so they are making things tough for her and her daughter. When the PTA board threaten to have her daughter expelled unless Stella changes her ways, she decides to get back at them by first exposing all their hidden secrets and hypocrisy. Then pulling all sorts of humiliating pranks on them. When she decides to run for the position of PTA President, they are really infuriated and try to stop her any way they can. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The song was scandalous. The movie is hilarious!




PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


All twelve Triple Crown completion race dates (Belmont Stakes) and the horses were: First was Sir Barton, Wednesday, June 11, 1919. Second was Gallant Fox, Saturday, June 7, 1930. Third was Omaha, Saturday, June 8, 1935. Fourth was War Admiral, Saturday, June 5, 1937. Fifth was Whirlaway, on Saturday, June 7, 1941. Sixth was Count Fleet, on Saturday, June 5, 1943. Seventh was Assault, on Saturday, June 1, 1946. Eighth was Citation, on Saturday, June 12, 1948. Ninth was Secretariat, on Saturday, June 9, 1973. Tenth was Seattle Slew, on Saturday, June 11, 1977. Eleventh was Affirmed, on Saturday, June 10, 1978. Twelveth was American Pharoah, on Saturday, June 6, 2015. See more »


The date, September 8th, 1968, was a Sunday, not a week-day, (for school, teachers and students). Dee Johnson mentioned the date, as she was postponing the election voting, from an immediate start, that Mrs. Flora Simpson Riley had planned on. See more »


Stella Johnson: [gazing at Dee] My goodness... where'd my little girl go?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credit to Seattle Slew for the manure is a joke. (The numerous comments in the Trivia section has apparently led some people to believe it's on the level.) See more »


Featured in Mindhunter: Episode #2.2 (2019) See more »


Words and music by Tom T. Hall
Sung by Jeannie C. Riley
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User Reviews

Another good lightweight comedy.
6 November 2009 | by gwcohn-2See all my reviews

Again this was one of those movies I added to my Netflix queue just to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was well worth watching again.

It's another small town movie, actually filmed in Lebanon Ohio according to the end credits.

A great send up of small town politics and social cliques that try to be something more than they really are. Yes, It's based on the song and one of the few C&W hits I will listen to.

I noticed in the movie that Barbara Eden appeared to have aged and did some research. She was 44 when the movie came out. Too bad all 44 year old women don't hold up that well. I found myself wondering more than once how she got in those tight pants though. :-) The movie appeals to the lecher in every man because of her looks but in reality she was just trying to be a good single mother and had the right to enjoy herself as well. The innocent romantic scenes with Will will please most women.

The high school scenes were realistic and as I remembered them from my high school years. Typical stuff, popular athlete won't hardly speak to anyone except the cheerleader type.

I like older movies like this because they were funny and didn't rely on a lot of vulgar language and car crashes to grab your attention. Just good wholesome humor with enough adult themes to keep you from being bored.

The hay truck dumping barn waste in the board members car and the credit of "Manure supplied by Seattle Slew" were about as adult as it got. That and the ubiquitous high school sex education film clips. (Did everybody have to sit through those in high school?) Probably not a movie you should let your five year old watch and most teenagers would think it was lame.

Well worth another look just to see how Hollywood has forgotten how to make a lightweight comedy.

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Release Date:

7 August 1980 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Harper Valley P.T.A. See more »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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