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The Long Road Home 

When their grain doesn't sell for enough to see their families through the winter, Charles and Isaiah hire on with the railroad to haul a wagon-load of highly explosive nitroglycerin over a... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Landon

Writers:

Blanche Hanalis (developed for television by), Laura Ingalls Wilder (based upon the series of books "Little House" by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Landon ... Charles Ingalls
Karen Grassle ... Caroline Ingalls
Melissa Gilbert ... Laura Ingalls
Melissa Sue Anderson ... Mary Ingalls
Rachel Lindsay Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Sidney Greenbush ... Carrie Ingalls (as Lindsay Sidney Greenbush)
Victor French ... Isaiah Edwards
Richard Jaeckel ... Murphy
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Henry Hill (as Lou Gossett)
Bonnie Bartlett ... Grace Snider Edwards
Radames Pera ... John Sanderson Edwards
Brian Part Brian Part ... Carl Sanderson Edwards
Kyle Richards ... Alicia Sanderson Edwards
John Mitchum ... Sam Benson
Bill Quinn ... James Frazer
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Storyline

When their grain doesn't sell for enough to see their families through the winter, Charles and Isaiah hire on with the railroad to haul a wagon-load of highly explosive nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain road and, as their journey progresses, find themselves dealing with situations almost as volatile as the freight they so carefully carry. Written by shepherd1138

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Certificate:

TV-G
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Larry Golden, who appears briefly as Bodeen, would return to the series in the two-part season 3 finale "Gold Country", playing the larger role of Rev. Phillips, followed by a smaller part in season 5's "Barn Burner" and another larger one in season 6's "Darkness is My Friend". Richard Jaeckel would return to star in season 7's controversial two-part episode "Sylvia". See more »

Quotes

Isaiah Edwards: Better get a good night's sleep. I have a feeling the next ten days will feel like an eternity.
Charles Ingalls: Just might be.
Isaiah Edwards: Huh...
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Connections

References The Wages of Fear (1953) See more »

User Reviews

 
Another Way to Earn Money
30 March 2013 | by mitchrmpSee all my reviews

Charles and Edwards thought they had it made. They had enough wheat for to take to market and make a bundle of money. The problem was: so did everyone else. Because there was so much wheat, the bottom fell out of the price and they found the wheat being bought at a price that wouldn't even begin to get their families through a winter.

For the second time, Charles has to leave home to find work. In this episode, they get pretty lucky. They find a job for the railroad - but it's a pretty dangerous job and would get a hundred dollars to haul nitro for two weeks. Back then, I guess that was a lot of money. Today, I'd croak if a dangerous job like that would yield so little!

Charles doesn't tell Caroline what he'll be hauling, and Edwards doesn't tell his family. But when they get life insurance policies to send home to their wives, they immediately realize what's going on. Then the worrying starts.

There's a sub-plot of racial discrimination in this episode. One of the freighters, a black man, is accepted by Charles and Isaiah, of course. But the other man refuses to go. The boss lets the man know his choices: either he goes with the black man (who is very nice and very forgiving) or he gets a ride back to the train and goes back home.

There are a few tense moments as the temperature gets warmer and the trail they take gets rougher. Unlike The Big Valley, the episode is pretty tame in the outcome. If you're looking for a good, exciting nitro episode watch The Big Valley. If your looking for a sweet, tender hearted "alls well that ends well" sort of episode, this is the one for you!


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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1976 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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