American Experience (1988– )
6 user 11 critic

Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern 

Struggling to keep the family farm in the family.
2 wins. See more awards »




Episode credited cast:
Bob Blankenship Bob Blankenship ... Himself - Auctioneer
Dean Eilts Dean Eilts ... Himself - Auctioneer
Marge Harold Marge Harold ... Herself
James Jordan Jr. James Jordan Jr. ... Himself
Gini Jordan Gini Jordan ... Herself
Grace Jordan Grace Jordan ... Herself
Jeanne Jordan ... Herself
Jesse Jordan Jesse Jordan ... Herself
Jiggs Jordan Jiggs Jordan ... Himself
Joe Jordan Joe Jordan ... Himself
Jon Jordan Jon Jordan ... Himself
Kim Jordan Kim Jordan ... Herself
Mary Jane Jordan Mary Jane Jordan ... Herself
Pam Jordan Pam Jordan ... Herself
Russel Jordan Russel Jordan ... Himself


The Jordan family has farmed in Iowa for generations. But the farm crisis of the 1980s and 1990s catches up with them, and they are in danger of losing the farm. One of the daughters, a documentary filmmaker, comes back home to document the extraordinary efforts the family makes to keep their farm. Written by yortsnave

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Where one family takes a stand.




Official Sites:

film's offical page | PBS





Release Date:

16 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlantic, Iowa, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


References Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

The abbreviated version of the film.
28 December 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Troublesome Creek" is one of the most personal films I have ever seen--and a MAJOR departure from the typical sort of film seen on "The American Experience". It has been shown both as an episode of the show AND a movie in and of itself. In some ways, it's like a home movie and in others it's like a documentary showing a vanishing piece of American life. And, although the film has a film slow portions and is about very ordinary people without any glitz, it's amazing how compelling the story is and how the audience is pulled into caring about these people.

The film is about the Jordan family in Iowa. With rising costs and the bank at their heels, an older couple decide to sell out and move into town. They just need to be sure to earn enough from the sale to pay off the bank--that way their son will be able to farm the land after they retire.

"Troublesome Creek" is interesting because the film was made by their daughter, Jeanne Jordan--a woman who had previously worked on a few other projects for PBS--including "Frontline" and "Eyes on the Prize". She did a great job overall--making it very interesting and very good. My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that her analogy about the cowboys and the old west seemed vague and ill-defined. Still, a nice little film that manages not to be boring!

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