Will Mannon, "product of the Devil's loins", is released from a frontier prison and promptly goes in search of the people who put him there around twelve years ago, Marshal Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty Russell.
In the small resort town of Lighthouse Cove, everyone knows that the best man for the job is a woman. And that woman is Shannon Hughes, owner of Hughes Restoration and an expert in ... See full summary »
Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, ... See full summary »
Lara Jill Miller,
A reimagining of the next generation of Cartwrights, three cousins Benji, A.C., and Josh join together to fight off forces to save the Ponderosa. Under the guidance of old friend Bronc Evans, they learn the meaning of family.
Michael Landon Jr.,
I wasn't sure how anyone could successfully make a sequel to the original CBS series without reuniting the entire original cast, but this movie proved to be a true delight. First of all, the storyline captured the loving spirit of Catherine Marshall's novel and reprised themes from the series while introducing several entertaining new elements. I particularly loved the use of historical character Harriet Quimby and her airplane to dramatize how progress from the outside world threatened the cove in ways even Christy hadn't anticipated.
I also liked the way the new actors seemed to advance the progression of their characters from what we saw in the weekly series. Lauren Lee Smith's portrayal of Christy Huddleston presented just the right blend of innocence, grace and maturity. Diane Ladd's Alice Henderson had a refreshing gentleness and softness that, while a departure from Tyne Daly's interpretation, reminded me so much of the novel. Ingrid Torrance's Fairlight Spencer captured the intelligence and dignity of Christy's best friend in a truthful and authentic way. Olivia KelIy found every bit of the off-beat charm and humor that I expected from Ruby Mae, and all the other school children were terrific, too. But I especially appreciated James Waterston's approach to Reverend David Grantland, which made me care for his character in ways that I never really had before.
Helping the new actors settle into their roles were several important returning stars from the CBS series: Stewart Finlay-McLennan as Doctor MacNeill, Andy Stahl and Dale Dickey as the McHones and Bruce McKinnon as Jeb Spencer. Seeing them again made me feel right at home the minute they appeared on screen, the way old friends would.
My favorite part of this movie was the use of the prologue from the novel, where Catherine Marshall's elderly mother revisited the abandoned mission and reminisced about her life as a young teacher. Sheila Moore was simply fantastic as the woman wanting to document her memories before they're lost to time.
A close second favorite moment was when the residents of Cutter Gap had the opportunity to fly in Harriet Quimby's airplane. The sight of those impoverished and isolated people soaring above their beloved mountain makes me cry every time I see it.
I strongly recommend this movie and its sequels ("A Change of Seasons" and "A New Beginning") to anyone who values quality family entertainment. It isn't necessary to be a fan of the previous television series or novel, either. These films were obviously designed to stand alone.
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