The Waltons

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Chrissy Cross, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I'm not sure. Probably. There are six of them, that I know of. I have the Walton Family Movie Collection, which includes six shows. I also have a pre-series movie with Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara that was based on the Spencer's Mountain book that the series was also based on.
    • A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (Feb. 2, 1982)
    • Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain (May 9, 1982)
    • A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (Nov. 22, 1982)
    • A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (Nov. 21, 1983)
    • A Walton Wedding (Feb. 12, 1995)
    • A Walton Easter (Mar. 31, 1997)
     
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  2. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Earl Hamner, who wrote Spencer's Mountain, the novel upon which The Waltons was partly based, was born in Schuyler, Virginia, where his father grew tobacco before moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where he was a miner, and then a machinist, rather than running a wood mill, as in the series. However, the setting for Hamner's novel was not Virginia, but the Grand Teton Mountains of Montana, which was the setting for the Spencer's Mountain movie with Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara. The movie was filmed on location in the Grand Tetons.

    Later, Hamner wrote a novella, which was also made into a movie by the same name, The Homecoming, which was set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The movie based on the novella was the pilot for The Walton's, although it wasn't intended to be a series at the time. The success of the movie prompted CBS to turn it into a series.

    Both the novel and the novella were based mostly on Hamner's family, although the setting and other facts differed.

    Patricia Neal played Olivia in the pilot, while Michael Learned had that part in the series. John Walton was played by Andrew Duggan in the pilot, and by Ralph Waite in the series. The role of Zebulon Walton was played by Edgar Bergen in the pilot, while Will Geer played that part in the series. Both of the Baldwin sisters were replaced in the series. Ike Godsey, the storekeeper was played by someone else, and I don’t think he had a wife in the movie, as he didn’t in the early episodes of the series. I think all of the other family members and some of those who became regulars returned for the series.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Although I've seen Spencer's Mountain before, and I think the parts of the parents and grandparents were much better played in the series.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Henry Fonda overplays the accept and, although it's the same one he uses in On Golden Pond, it works much better when he's older. It's just kind of annoying in Spencer's Mountain, particularly since no one else in his family has a similar accent.

    A lot of the scenes from Spencer's Mountain are used in The Waltons, including John getting the new pastor drunk and the resulting scandal that later turns out okay.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Realizing that I probably hadn't seen The Homecoming, the pilot to The Waltons, since it aired on television, or maybe another time during a repeat, I ordered it on DVD, given that this is the type of movie I'd watch more than once. In my opinion, the series began with a perfect cast. Had they filmed two seasons per year, the series could have continued longer. They could have gotten another season or two in if they had worked faster to start shooting the series after the pilot, as the kids were young enough in the pilot. But then, they weren't considering a series when they shot the pilot.

    Patricia Neal plays Olivia Walton in the pilot, but Michael Learned was much better in the part. I find Neal's voice to be abrasive in the pilot, and she acts like she's going to drop over dead at any moment. Besides, she's not very likable.

    Likewise, Ralph Waite was better as John Walton than Andrew Duggan although, to be fair, he doesn't show up until the end in The Homecoming, given that it's his homecoming that they are awaiting. I can't imagine someone doing a better job of it than Ralph Waite, though.

    Will Geer and Ellen Corby couldn't be beat as Grandpa and Grandma Walton. Corby is in both the pilot, the series, and the subsequent movies, but the part of Grandpa Walton was played by Edgar Bergen in the pilot. He's okay in the part, but Geer was more likable.
     
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