Sarah, Plain and Tall (TV Movie 1991) Poster

(1991 TV Movie)


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  • Sarah, Plain and Tall is a 1985 children's book by American author Patricia MacLachlan. It was adapted for the screen by MacLachlan and American screenwriter Carol Sobieski. The success of Sarah, Plain and Tall led to two movie sequels, Skylark (1993) (1993) and Sarah, Plain & Tall: Winter's End (1999) (1999), also based on books by Patricia MacLachlan. Edit

  • The prairie scenes were filmed at the Stuhr Living History Museum in Grand Island, Nebraska and around Reading, Kansas. The actual house exteriors and interiors, barns and sites around the homestead are filmed at 4171 West 285th Street, Osage City, Kansas. The owners of the home actually purchased the homestead because of this movie. They love showing guests around the property and allow them to take pictures. The place is about 90% the way it looked in the movie, except the original home owners had the movie crew change a few things back after they were done filming, and the windmill has fallen down. The Maine scenes were filmed in Stonington, Maine. Edit

  • 1908. This is based on information obtained from the third movie in the series, Winter's End, which is set in 1918. In Winter's End, Sarah (Glenn Close) explains to John Witting (Jack Palance), Jacob (Christopher Walken)'s father, that she and Jacob met just over nine years ago, which places the year of their meeting as 1908. Edit

  • It's not really the sea, but you can hear a roaring noise that sort of sounds like the rushing of waves against the shore. Some people have suggested that what you are actually hearing is the echoing of your blood rushing through the blood vessels of your ear. Others say that the sound is caused by air flowing through the shell. Both of these explanations have been proven to be false. If the rushing was caused by the blood coursing through your blood vessels, the sound would intensify after exercising, since your blood races faster after exercising. But it doesn't. If the sound were caused by air flowing through the shell, then it would work wherever air was present. But it doesn't work in a soundproof room. The sound you hear when you put a conch shell against your ear is caused by the shell's ability to capture ambient sounds—the sounds that are present all around you but that you don't usually notice—and then to amplify that ambient noise like in a resonating chamber. In fact, the louder the environment you are in, the louder the ocean-like sound will be, even when using the same conch shell. Edit

  • It's a medieval song called "Sumer is A-cumen in", written in the 13th century to welcome the coming of the sun. Sarah appears to be singing it with the Old English lyrics: Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu! Groweth sed and bloweth med, and springst the wde nu. Sing cuccu! Awe bleteth after lomb, llouth after calve cu, bulluc sterteh, bucke verteth, murie sing cuccu! Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes thu cuccu, me swik thu naver nu! Translation: Summer is coming in, loudly sings the cuckoo! The seed grows; the meadow blossoms, and the woods alivens anew. Sing Cuckoo! The ewe bleats after the lamb; the cow lows after the calf; the bull leaps; the goat capers; merrily sing cuckoo! Cuckoo, cuckoo, well sing you, cuckoo—don't ever stop now! Edit

  • After the farm is hit by a storm that severely damages the house, Jacob fears that he'll have to sell the sheep to make the repairs. Sarah takes the buckboard into town alone, and the children fear that she is planning to return to Maine, especially after Anna (Lexi Randall) finds that Sarah's return ticket is missing. Jacob goes after Sarah, but he gets to the station just after the train has pulled away. He is relieved to see Sarah still standing on the platform. Sarah explains that she cashed in her ticket and hands the money to Jacob. Jacob and Sarah realize that they have feelings for each other, they kiss, and several days later they are married. Edit



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