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Includes:Open City (1945) Paisan (1946) Germany, Year Zero (1947) Open City Roberto Rossellini's Roma, CittÃ Aperta (known in English as Open City) was one of the landmark films of the 1940s on several levels. Aesthetically, it was one of the first major works of Italian neorealist filmmaking and perhaps the single most influential example of the style. Historically, it was among the first postwar European films to gain a significant audience in the United States, opening the door for a greater appreciation of international filmmaking in America. And politically, it was a work of tremendous bravery. The screenplay was written by Roberto Rossellini in association with Federico Fellini and Sergio Amidei while Rome was still occupied by German forces in 1943-44. Rossellini began filming in secret, using scavenged film stock without sound equipment, shortly before the city was liberated in June of 1944. Several key members of his creative team had been active in the Italian resistance movement. With its rough, documentary-style look, multi-layered narrative, and a cast that mixed amateurs with actors who didn't look like film stars, Roma, CittÃ Aperta captured the harsh and unforgiving textures of real life as few movies of its time had dared. It set the pace for Italian Neorealism as an influential postwar film style that combined outdoor light and location shooting with non-actors, a focus on simple stories of everyday life, and a concern for the poor and for social problems. Roma, CittÃ Aperta shows the lives of a group of people living in Rome during the Nazi occupation, after the Germans had declared it an "open city." Anna Magnani plays a woman in love with a member of a resistance group; in helping him, she risks not only her own life, but also that of her unborn child. Aldo Fabrizi plays a priest who aids the anti-Nazi cause and pays dearly for his activism. Marcello Pagliero is an outspoken communist who runs afoul of the Nazis. And Harry Feist plays a German officer who has taken an Italian lover, but whose affection for Romans does not run especially deep. While Roma, CittÃ Aperta shows flashes of the melodramatic sentimentality that would mark much of Rossellini's later work, it still rings true as a chronicle of a city under siege and as the genesis of a powerful new film style whose influences include such later filmmakers, among many others, as John Cassavetes, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, and Spike Lee. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Paisan Roberto Rossellini's Paisan (originally Paisa) is one of the best-known and most important of the postwar Italian neorealist films; certainly it has one of the finest pedigrees, representing the combined talents of two of Italy's most prestigious filmmakers. The second of Rossellini's "war trilogy" (bracketed by Open City and Germany Year Zero), Paisan is divided into six episodes, each elucidating upon the tenuous relationship between the recently liberated Italians and their American liberators. In the first episode, Joe From Jersey (Robert Van Loon), assigned to guard a taciturn Sicilian woman (Carmela Sazio), tries to communicate with his monolingual prisoner. Next, a black MP (Dotts Johnson) is robbed of his shoes by an impoverished Neopolitan street urchin (Alfonsino Pasca). This is followed by an episode set in Rome, where drunken GI Fred (Gar Moore) is reunited with a streetwalker (Maria Michi) whom he's met before but does not recognize. In Florence, American nurse Harriet (Harriet Medin) and an Italian partisan (Gigi Gori) dodge bullets as they make their way through enemy-held territory in search of Harriet's lover. Next comes a comic interlude involving a theological argument between a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew and a group of Fransiscan monks. The film concludes with a bloody confrontation in the Po Valley between the OSS and a band of intractable Germans who refuse to surrender. Everyone who's ever seen Paisan has his or her favorite episode: by consensus of opinion, the most popular vignettes are the Naples episode (largely adlibbed by actors Dotts Johnson and Alfonsino Pasca) and the thrilling Florentine vignette with Harriet Medin and Gigi Gori. Giulietta Masina, the wife of Federico Fellini, shows up in a bit role; Fellini himself collaborated on the screenplay with Rossellini and Annalena Limentani. Originally released at 115 minutes, Paisan was expertly edited to 90 minutes for American consumption by Stuart Legg and Raymond Spottiswoode. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Germany, Year Zero In the third and final film of Rossellini's WWII trilogy, the director shifts his focus from his native Italy to the bombed-out ruins of Berlin, where 12-year-old Edmund Koehler struggles for survival. Among the nine people he lives with are: a father, who is suffering from malnutrition and a fatal illness; a brother, who is a former Nazi soldier hiding to avoid arrest; and a sister, who has turned to prostitution. Scouring the rubble-strewn city for food, money, and cigarettes, he comes upon a former teacher, Herr Enning (Erich Guhne), who evinces a barely restrained sexual attraction to the boy while providing him with records of Hitler's speeches that can be bartered on the black market. He also drums into the boy a classic piece of Nazi propaganda about the importance of having the courage to let the weak be destroyed. Under his influence, the confused young protagonist heads down a tragic path. ~ Michael Costello, All Movie Guide
Includes:The Waltons: The Hunt (1972) The Waltons: The Carnival (1972) The Waltons: The Calf (1972) The Waltons: The Minstrel (1972) The Waltons: The Typewriter (1972) The Waltons: The Star (1972) The Waltons: The Boy From the C.C.C. (1972) The Waltons: The Ceremony (1972) The Waltons: The Legend (1972) The Waltons: The Dust Bowl Cousins (1972) The Waltons: The Reunion (1972) The Waltons: The Literary Man (1972) The Waltons: The Foundling (1972) The Waltons: The Sinner (1972) The Waltons: The Thanksgiving Story, Part 1 (1973) The Waltons: The Townie (1973) The Waltons: The Scholar (1973) The Waltons: An Easter Story, Part 1 (1973) The Waltons: The Love Story (1973) The Waltons: The Triangle (1973) The Waltons: The Thanksgiving Story, Part 2 (1973) The Waltons: An Easter Story, Part 2 (1973) The Waltons: The Actress (1973) The Waltons: The Fire (1973) The Waltons: The Gypsies (1973) The Waltons: The Deed (1973) The Waltons: The Bicycle (1973) The Waltons: The Journey (1973) The Waltons: The Odyssey (1973) The Waltons: The Separation (1973) The Waltons: The Roots (1973) The Waltons: The Chicken Thief (1973) The Waltons: The Braggart (1973) The Waltons: The Fawn (1973) The Waltons: The Air Mail Man (1973) The Waltons: The Bequest (1973) The Waltons: The Substitute (1973) The Waltons: The Prize (1973) The Waltons: The Theft (1973) The Waltons: The Courtship (1973) The Waltons: The Gift (1974) The Waltons: The Heritage (1974) The Waltons: The Five Foot Shelf (1974) The Waltons: The Graduation (1974) The Waltons: The Car (1974) The Waltons: The Cradle (1974) The Waltons: The Fulfillment (1974) The Waltons: The Ghost Story (1974) The Waltons: The Honeymoon (1974) The Waltons: The Awakening (1974) The Waltons: The Hunt In this episode from the first season of the long-running television series The Waltons, 16-year-old John-Boy (Richard Thomas) is deemed old enough to go hunting and he volunteers to join a turkey shoot. But John-Boy hates the idea of killing animals, and when a prize bird is in his rifle's sight, he finds that he can't pull the trigger. John-Boy is worried that his father (Ralph Waite) will think he's a coward, but soon John-Boy is given another opportunity to prove his bravery. Meanwhile, Mary-Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) has been saving her money to buy a baseball glove, but when G.W. Haines (David Doremus), a boy that she likes, begins spending his time with a pretty girl, Mary-Ellen wonders if she should buy a nice dress instead in hopes of winning back G.W.'s attentions. The Waltons: The Hunt first aired on October 5, 1972. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Carnival Olivia (Michael Learned) strongly disapproves when husband John (Ralph Waite) invites four travelling carnival performers (one of them played by legendary "little person" Billy Barty) to stay with the Walton family. The quartet of "carnies" had found themselves stranded after their manager skipped town with the carnival's profits. Ever so gradually, Olivia warms up to these curious but likeable nomads -- and when the four entertainers discover that the Waltons hadn't had enough money to attend their carnival when it first arrived on the Mountain, a very special performance is staged in the family's barn. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Calf Much to the dismay of the younger Walton children, their pet calf is sold for nine dollars to farmer George Anderson (Leonard Stone), who intends to slaughter the animal for its meat. John Walton (Ralph Waite) doesn't really want to break his kids' hearts, but facts are facts: a male calf is of no use on their farm, and the family needs that nine dollars to repair their truck. Ultimately, John weakens and tries to buy the calf back, only to have the canny Anderson increase the asking price -- thereby all but goading the Walton youngsters into becoming cattle thieves! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Minstrel Feeling cut off from the outside world, Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) is quite receptive to the attentions paid her by wandering folksinger Jamie (Peter Hooten), who has come to the Mountain in hopes of gleaning song material from elderly Maude Gormley (Merie Earle). Mary Ellen spends so much time with Jamie that she begins neglecting her family responsibilities, causing considerable friction between herself, her parents and her siblings. When Jamie rejects Mary Ellen as being "just a kid" and unworthy of his affections, the disillusioned girl is more determined than ever to escape her "repressive" surroundings--sparking another of those famous Walton family rallies to set things right. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Typewriter In this pivotal episode, budding writer John-Boy (Richard Thomas) is encouraged by his teacher Miss Hunter (Mariclare Costello) to send one of his stories to a national magazine. Unfortunately, the publication accepts only typed manuscripts, and John-Boy can't afford a typewriter. With no other options at hand, he secretly "borrows" an antique typewriter belonging to the wealthy Baldwin sisters (Helen Kleeb, Mary Jackson) -- only to find himself in quite a quandary when Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) unwittingly gives the old machine to a travelling junk dealer (George Tobias). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Star Virtually everyone on Walton's Mountain is profoundly affected when a meteorite falls through the Baldwin sisters' roof. Grandpa (Will Geer) in particular regards the falling star as a grim omen, perhaps of his own imminent demise. Meanwhile, the Baldwins' disreputable cousin Polonius (Iggie Wolfington) tries to capitalize on the astronomical phenomenon by insisting that the meteorite has been sent as warning to the ladies to stop brewing their special moonshine...and to hand their famous "recipe" over to him. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Boy From the C.C.C. This episode recalls the time when impoverished teenagers found employment (not always voluntarily) by working in the government-sponsored Civilian Conservation Corps. One such youngster is Gino (Michael Rupert), a hard-bitten New York slum kid. Running away from a C.C.C. camp near Walton's Mountain, Gino seeks temporary shelter by the Walton family. Unable to accept the family's kindness and generosity, Gino ends up stealing from his hosts. John Walton (Ralph Waite) is all for having Gino arrested until a crisis involving his daughter Elizabeth (Kami Cotler) opens John's eyes to the boy's essential decency. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Ceremony A family of Jewish refugees settles in a small cottage on Walton's Mountain. Terrified that the Nazi persecution that had forced them from their homeland has followed them to America, Professor David Mann (Noah Keen) warns his family not tell anyone that they are Jewish. Crestfallen that he will not be permitted to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, Paul Mann (Radames Peras) loses all respect for his father--and it is up to the Waltons to convince the Manns that their dark days are past, and to reunite the Professor and his son. Featured as Eva Mann is Ellen Geer, the daughter of series regular Will Geer (Grandpa Walton). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Legend John (Ralph Waite) is visited by his old Army buddy Tip Harrison (James Antonio), who regales the Walton family with stories of his colorful exploits during WW1. Unforutnately, Tip is so entrenched in the past that he finds it impossible to live in the present. His inability to "fit in" with his current surroundings results in a couple of near-tragedies, including a disastrous fire--for which Tip, terrified of losing John's friendship, allows one of the Walton boys to take the blame! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Dust Bowl Cousins The Waltons pay host to their Kansas cousins, the Denbys, who have lost their farm to the ravages of the Dust Bowl. Unfortunately, the Denbys also seem to have lost their scruples, and before long they are taking undue advantage of the Waltons. Despite repeated assurances that he has some job prospects in Newport News , it is painfully obvious that Ham Denby (Warren Vanders) has no intention of moving either himself or his family from Walton's Mountain. This episode won the Director's Guild of America award for Robert Butler. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Reunion The Baldwin sisters are once again visited by one of their less reputable relatives. This time, their guest is cousin Homer (Denver Pyle), who hopes to persuade Miss Emily (Mary Jackson) and Miss Mamie (Helen Kleeb) to hold a Baldwin family reunion. In truth, however, Homer plans to use the occasion as a subterfuge, to get his grubby fingers on the sisters' secret moonshine recipe. Ultimately, the ladies realize that they've been hoodwinked--and worse still, none of their relatives is going to show up for their reunion. As John-Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) tries to help the Baldwins weather this crisis, his younger brother Jim-Bob (David W. Harper) has a problem of a different nature on his hands, involving a most unusual schoolyard bully. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Literary Man Globetrotting author A.J. Covington (David Huddleston) finds himself briefly stranded on Walton's Mountain. In answer to John-Boy's incessant questions on how to become a writer, Covington modestly advises him to "write what you know"--and, not so modestly, regales the boy with tales of his own adventures. Inevitably, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) begins spending far too much time conversing with Covington, neglecting his responsibilities at the Walton's lumberyard to the extent that the family may lose a lucrative (and sorely needed) timber contract.This episode won an Emmy Award for Best Cinematography. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Foundling The debut episode of The Waltons is set in 1933, with the Walton family of Virginia coping as best they can with the ravages of the Depression. The emphasis is on eldest Walton son John-Boy (Richard Thomas), who is struggling to communicate with a melancholy deaf girl named Holly (Erica Hunton), whose mother Ruth (Charlotte Stewart) had abandoned the girl on the Walton doorstep. Almost miraculously, John-Boy and his siblings are able to break through to Holly and teach her sign language. Unfortunately, while trying to convey the information that John-Boy's sister Elizabeth (Kami Cotler) has gotten locked in a trunk, Holly is intercepted by her father Anson (Richard Kelton), who, failing to understand the girl's wild gesticulations, takes her home, leaving poor Elizabeth to her fate! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Sinner John Ritter makes his first appearance as Matthew Fordwick, the new minister on Walton's Mountain. No sooner has the sober, upright Rev. Fordwick arrived than he pays a visit to his distant relatives, the Baldwin sisters. Innocently consuming far too much of the Baldwins' special "recipe," the Reverend ends up making a drunken spectacle of himself. It is up to John Walton (Ralph Waite) -- who'd initally been offended by Fordwick's overbearing religious fervency -- to persuade the poor man not to leave the Mountain in disgrace. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Thanksgiving Story, Part 1 In the first half of a two-part story (originally telecast as a single two-hour episode), John-Boy (Richard Thomas) is afforded the opportunity to qualify for a scholarship at Boatwright University--and, as icing on the cake, his former girlfriend Jenny (Sian Barbara Allen) is paying a return visit to Walton's Mountain. But joy turns to despair when John-Boy is injured in an accident, which may render him permanently blind. Meanwhile, Jason (Jon Walmsley) is beginning to have second thoughts about accepting a job from the dithery Baldwin Sisters (Mary Jackson, Helen Kleeb). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Townie In her first Waltons appearance, future Oscar winner Sissy Spacek) is cast as Sarah, the sheltered daughter of hyper-religious Widow Simmonds (Allyn Ann McLerie). In a desperate attempt to emerge from her shell, Sarah all but throws herself upon John-Boy (Richard Thomas). He gently resists her romantic overtures, whereupon Sarah takes up with a callow "townie" named Theodore Claypool Jr. (Nicholas Hammond]), the son of a wealthy businessman. Ultimately, Sarah and Theodore elope--and both her mother and his father hold John-Boy responsible for this catastrophe! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Scholar Lynn Hamilton makes her first series appearance as Verdie Grant (Lynn Hamilton), one of the black residents of Walton's Mountain. Receiving word that her daughter is about to graduate from college, Verdie is reluctant to attend the ceremonies because she is unable to read or write, a secret she has always been too proud to reveal. John-Boy (Richard Thomas) offers to tutor Verdie on the condition that no one will ever find out about her illiteracy. The two work out a subterfuge whereby John-Boy will instruct Verdie while pretending to "play school" with his little sister Erin (Mary Elizabeth McDonough)--who reveals the truth at a critical juncture in the story. This episode earned an Emmy Award for scriptwriter John McGreevey. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: An Easter Story, Part 1 In the first half of The Waltons' two-part Season One finale (originally telecast as a single two-hour episode), Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) nervously looks forward to her first Easter dance. But her anticpation of this momentous event is eclipsed by a potential tragedy in the Walton household: Olivia (Michael Learned) has been stricken with polio. Though Dr. Vance grimly predicts that Olivia will never walk again, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) refuses to give up hope, and embarks upon a curious odyssey in desperate search of a miracle. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Love Story Sian Barbara Allen makes her first series appearance as Jenny Pendleton, a runaway from her family in Richmond. Convinced that there is no room for her at home now that her widowed father (Gordon Rigsby) has remarried, Jenny hides out on a patch of her family's property on Walton's Mountain. It is here that the girl is found by John-Boy Walton (Richard Thomas)--who instantly falls in love with her and invites her to stay a while with his family. Luxuriating in the warmth and kindness of the Walton household, Jenny hopes to remain there permanently...but then tragedy intervenes. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Triangle John-Boy (Richard Thomas) develops a crush on his teacher Miss Hunter (Mariclare Costello), whom he regards as his literary inspiration. But when Reverend Fordwick (John Ritter]) begins courting Miss Hunter, the envious John-Boy may nip his writing career in the bud just out of spite! Meanwhile, brother Ben (Eric Scott) is likewise having "heart trouble", prompting him to go the body-building route (courtesy of a mail-order course) to impress the girl of his dreams. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Thanksgiving Story, Part 2 In the conclusion of a two-part story (originally telecast as a single two-part episode), John-Boy (Richard Thomas) refuses to reveal the seriousness of his accident, terrified that he will no longer qualify for a scholarship at Boatwright University. As John-Boy's eyesight grows weaker with each passing day, it is painfully obvious that the only way he can prevent permanent blindness is to undergo surgery. . .if it isn't already too late. Elsewhere, Olivia (Michael Learned) is outraged to discover that Jason (Jon Walsmley) has been dragooned into helping the Baldwin Sisters cook up their intoxicating "recipe"; and Ben (Eric Scott) and Grandpa (Will Geer) continue hunting for the family's Thanksgiving turkey. This episode earned an Emmy Award for scriptwriter Joanna Lee. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: An Easter Story, Part 2 In the conclusion of The Waltons' two-part Season One finale (originally telecast as a single two-hour episode), the outlook is bleak for Olivia Walton (Michael Learned), who has been stricken with polio and may never walk again. Refusing to accept this prognosis, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) puts his faith in a radical new medical procedure created by the legendary Sister Kenny. Meanwhile, Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) tries to teach G.W. Haines (David Doremus) to dance in time for their Easter date; and Jason (Jon Walmsley) enters an amateur song contest with his own composition, "The Ironing Board Blues". "An Easter Story" was later released theatrically in Australia as the feature film A Walton Crisis. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Actress When her limousine breaks down on the Mountain, flamboyant Hollywood actress Alvira Drummond (Pippa Scott) accepts the hospitality of the Walton family. Not unexpectedly, Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor) is quite star-struck by the glamorous visitor--while Grandma Walton (Ellen Corby) dourly disapproves of Alvira's "fast" lifestyle , and is openly suspicious of the actress' claims that all her money and valuables have been stolen. Thanks to gossipy telephone operator Fanny Tatum (played here by Dorothy Neumann rather than Sheila Allen), a few inconvenient truths about the "fabulously successful" Alvira Drummond ultimately come to light. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Fire Walton's Mountain turns into a battleground over the teaching of Evolution. Lutie Bascomb (Richard Bradford), a hard-luck farmer whose violent temper has gotten worse since the breakup of his marriage, storms into the classroom of Miss Hunter (Mariclare Costello) and accuses her of "blasphemy" for explaining Darwin's theory to Lutie's daughter Lois Mae (Laurie Prange). The war of words reaches an ominous climax when Lutie threatens to kill Miss Hunter--and not long afterward, the schoolhouse is engulfed in flames! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Gypsies Caught in a heavy rainstorm on Walton's Mountain, a family of Gypsies takes refuge it what seems to be a deserted house. Actually, it's the home of the Baldwin sisters, temporarily out of town. The Gypsies' unwitting "break-in" fuels the bigotry of Matt Beckwith (William Bramley), who tries to turn the other residents of the Mountain against the nomadic family. When the Waltons offer to lend a helping hand, the Gypsies are too proud to accept...even though their baby is gravely ill. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Deed Unable to produce the deed to their land, the Waltons are threatened with eviction from the mountain by a powerful lumber company. In order to raise the $200 necessary to register a deed, John (Ralph Waite) and John-Boy (Ralph Waite) head to the "big city", looking for work. Just when it seems that their troubles are over, the money is stolen by a pair of street bandits. An unhappy ending? Not THIS early in the nine-year TV run of The Waltons!. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Bicycle Using John-Boy (Richard Thomas) as a go-between, blacksmith Curtis Norton (Ned Beatty) carries on a long-distance courtship with city girl Ann Harris (Ivy Jones). Though John-Boy sees no harm in writing Curtis' love letters for the shy Smithy, his tendency to embellish the facts causes big problems when Ann pays a visit to Walton's Mountain. Meanwhile, Olivia (Michael Learned) begins fantasizing about an operatic career while bicycling to her weekly choir practice. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Journey The second season of The Waltons begins as the family's eldest son John-Boy (Richard Thomas) is torn between his own youthful desires and the more pressing needs of an elderly person. Octogenarian Maggie MacKenzie (Linda Watkins) is resolved to the fact that she isn't long for this world, but she refuses to give up the ghost until she is able to see the Atlantic Ocean one last time--the same Atlantic Ocean that had carried herself and her late husband from Scotland to America so many years ago. Pressed into service to transport Maggie to the seacoast is John-Boy, but he isn't happy about the assignment: Maggie's odyssey may well prevent him from attending a big dance with his erstwhile girlfriend Marsha (Tammi Bula). Series creator Earl Hamner Jr. briefly appears as Maggie's husband in a flashback sequence. This episode earned the Directors' Guild of America award for Harry Harris. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Odyssey Seeking solitude to write his stories, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) takes a hike into the mountains. But peace and quiet is not on his schedule when he comes across his friend Sarah Simmonds (Sissy Spacek in her second series appearance), who has run away from her husband--and who is very pregnant and very, very ill. This chance meeting occurs not long after an earlier encounter between John-Boy and elderly mountain dweller Granny Ketchum (Frances Williams), who in repayment for a favor had supplied him with a home-made medicinal potion. When Sarah downs the potion, she suddenly goes into labor...and John-Boy is the only person within miles who can help her! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Separation The plot of this episode is sparked (no pun intended) by an overdue electric bill. In his efforts to raise the necessary funds, Grandpa Walton (Will Geer) becomes enmeshed in a situation that incurs the wrath of Grandma (Ellen Corby). This minor and rather silly misunderstanding escalates into a bitter quarrel--whereupon Grandpa and Grandma, too stubborn to admit their mistakes and reconcile their differences, may well be on the verge of a permanent split-up! This episode is based on a story by series regular Ellen Corby). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Roots Hal Williams and Erin Blunt make their first series appearances as itinerant laborer Harley Foster and his son Jody. After a brief and tantalizing glimpse of family life at the Walton home, Jody begs his father to stop wandering and settle down. But the fiercely independent Harley prefers his nomadic existence, prompting Jody to take drastic action to get what he wants. All the while, Harley seems unaware that widow Verdie Grant (Lynn Hamilton) has set her cap for him--but he won't stay unaware for long! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Chicken Thief John-Boy (Richard Thomas) catches his friend Yancy Tucker (Robert Donner) stealing chickens, but decides not to tell their sheriff. This may prove to be the wrong decision when chicken farmer Charlie Potter (Richard O'Brien) is shot--and Yancy is the only likely suspect. And speaking of thievery, Ben (Eric Scott) gets himself in hot water when he "borrows" one of John-Boy's old poems, "A Winter Mountain", to win a literary competition. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Braggart Orphan Hobie Shanks (Michael McGreevey), who years earlier had briefly stayed with the Waltons, returns to the Mountain brimming over with braggadocio. Everyone is impressed by Hobie's claim that he is about to be given a pitching tryout with a professional baseball team--everyone, that is, except the envious John-Boy (Richard Thomas), who thinks that Hobie is full of hot air. Surprisingly, it turns out that Hobie is telling the truth . . .but he may never get the chance to become a "pro" thanks to a freak accident. (Trivia note: guest star Michael McGreevey is the son of frequent Waltons scriptwriter John McGreevey--who, incidentally, did NOT write this episode). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Fawn John-Boy (Richard Thomas) learns a few harsh and bitter life lessons when he accepts a job collecting debts for shifty absentee landlord Graham Foster (Charles Tyner). Meanwhile, John-Boy's sister Erin (Mary Elizabeth McDonough), feeling that her brother has let her down by aligning himself with Foster, shifts her affections to a wild fawn--and refuses to set the animal free, even when her family gets in trouble with the local authorities. This episode was directed by series regular Ralph Waite (John Walton). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Air Mail Man Olivia's birthday party is interrupted by the forced landing of mail pilot Todd Cooper (Paul Michael Glaser) on Walton's Mountain. Putting their own concerns aside for the moment, the family pitches in to repair Todd's damaged plane--and, indirectly, to patch up his faltering relationship with his wife Sue (Julie Cobb). This done, everyone comes forth with a present for birthday girl Olivia (Michael Learned)...but Todd's present is the most impressive of all, and one that Olivia will never forget! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Bequest Grandma Walton (Ellen Corby) is pleasantly surprised when she receives a huge bequest--a whole $250!--from a casual acquaintance. Naturally, everybody in the Walton household has a special plan on how best to spend the money, and just as naturally, Grandma intends to be generous with her windfall, not only doling it out to her family but to the rest of the community. But an unexpected development puts a damper on that generosity--and now Grandma is faced with the prospect of being unable to keep her word for the first time in her life. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Substitute While Miss Hunter (Mariclare Costello) is out of town on family business, her classroom is taken over by youthful substitute teacher Megan Pollard (Catherine Burns), a transplanted New Yorker. Though undeniably brilliant, Megan is incapable of "relating" to mountain folk, and before long her rigid, dictatorial teaching methods have alienated students and parents alike. Meanwhile, Grandpa resists the temptation to help Ben build a kite for a contest. This episode represents a reunion between series regular Richard Thomas and guest star Catherine Burns, who had previously costarred in the memorable "coming-of-age" film drama Last Summer (1969). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Prize The Waltons attend the annual County Fair, where each family member hopes to win a prize. At the same time, Olivia's former beau Oscar Cockrell (Peter Donat) shows up at the fair in hopes of advancing his political career. Comparing Oscar's affluence with his own family's lack of same, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) asks himself how different his life would have been if Olivia (Michael Learned) had accepted Oscar's proposal. Meanwhile, a "special ingredient" in Olivia's cake has a curious effect on the contest judges! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Theft John Walton (Ralph Waite) is accused of stealing some valuable silver goblets from wealthy neighbor Mrs. Claybourne (Diana Webster). Her evidence? Well, for starters, John is the only visitor that Mrs. Claybourne has had in weeks--and even more damning, he has suddenly and inexplicably come into a large sum of money. Too angry and proud to defend himself, John is on the verge of a lengthy jail term until the truth is revealed in a surprising fashion. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Courtship Having lost his job in Cincinnati, Olivia's 64-year-old uncle Cody Nelson (Eduard Franz) relocates to Walton's Mountain. Hoping to alleviate Cody's loneliness, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) tries to play matchmaker between his uncle and local resident Cordelia Hunnicutt (Danna Hansen). But Olivia and Grandma staunchly disapprove of this romance, labelling Cordelia as "unsuitable" for poor, innocent Cody--after all, the brazen woman has been married and divorced four times! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Gift A post-Andy Griffith Show, pre-Happy Days Ron Howard) guest stars as Seth Turner, the best friend of Jason Walton (Jon Walmsley). Seth has always wanted to learn to play an instrument in his father's band, but it looks as if he won't have the time; he has been diagnosed with leukemia. The concept of death--and the unfairness of it all--is an extremely difficult one for Jason to accept, and it is up to Grandpa to help the boy through this crisis. Featured in the cast as Dr. McIvers is Ron Howard's father Rance Howard. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Heritage John (Ralph Waite) is torn between financial considerations and concern for his children's birthright when he is offered $25,000 for Walton's Mountain by a developer (Noah Beery Jr.) who wants to build a tourist resort. Of course, John needs the money--but does he need THAT much money? (A fine question to be asking oneself in the middle of a Depression!) Meanwhile, Grandpa (Will Geer) and Grandma (Ellen Corby) prepare for their Golden wedding anniversary. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Five Foot Shelf Feeling sorry for travelling book salesman George Reed (Ben Piazza), Olivia (Michael Learned) makes a sizeable deposit on the "Five-Foot Shelf" collection, consisting of fifty "Harvard Classics." When he finds out that Reed has spent the money to buy his little girl a doll, John (Ralph Waite) is outraged and orders the peddler off Walton's Mountain, never to return. But this doesn't answer the episode's burning question: Will Olivia pony up a second deposit when those fifty books are delivered to the Walton doorstep? ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Graduation The Walton family spends a great deal of money to purchase a new suit of clothes for John-Boy's high school graduation. But when their cow suddenly dies, the Waltons desperately need ready cash to replace the bovine. Will John-Boy (Richard Thomas) stubbornly hold on to his graduation suit, or will he do the Right Thing and sell it back? Without revealing the ending, it can be noted that Grandpa Walton (Will Geer) comes to the rescue. Featured in the supporting cast is child actor Jeff Cotler, the brother of series regular Kami Cotler (Elizabeth). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Car Hoping to obtain an automobile before heading off to college, John-Boy (Richard Thomas) does repair work for neighbor Hyder Rudge (Ed Lauter) in exchange for Rudge's old car. But when time comes for John-Boy to collect, Rudge refuses to part with his car, and even pretends that he no longer owns the vehicle. It soon becomes obvious that Rudge has broken his word in a desperate effort to cling to his past...and to the memory of someone who will never return. This is the final episode of The Waltons' second season. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Cradle No sooner has Olivia (Michael Learned) taken a job as a door-to-door salesman to help make ends meet in the Walton home than she discovers she is pregnant...again. As John (Ralph Waite) wonders if the family can afford another child, his youngest daughter Elizabeth (Kami Cotler) makes no secret of her disappointment over being supplanted as the "baby" of the family. Ultimately, the family comes to accept what seems to be The Inevitable--and then an unexpected plot twist puts the situation in a whole new light. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Fulfillment Once again, the Waltons play host to blacksmith Curtis Norton and his city-bred bride Ann, characters introduced in the first-season episode "The Bicycle" (Ivy Jones returns as Ann, while Victor French takes over from Ned Beatty as Curtis). But the news the Nortons bring with them is far from good: they have been told that they can never have children. At the same time, embittered eight-year-old orphan Stevie (Tiger Williams) is also staying with the Waltons. In any other TV series, this situation would immediately culminate in a happy ending, with the Nortons adopting Stevie--but in this case, Ann Norton is none too keen about adopting anyone. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Ghost Story The Walton kids purchase a Ouija board from storekeeper Ike (Joe Conley), and immediately set about to contact the spirit world. Though Olivia (Michael Learned) and Grandma (Ellen Corby) regard this activity as diametrically opposed to their religious beliefs, the kids' friend Luke (Kristopher Marquis) hopes that the board will help him communicate with his deceased mother. Sure enough, an unseen force seems to be guiding the children's hands as they spell out an ominous message, warning Luke to cancel a planned train trip--and not long afterward, word arrives that the train has crashed! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Honeymoon After 19 years of marriage, John (Ralph Waite) and Olivia (Michael Learned) are finally able to go on their honeymoon to Virginia Beach...or so they think. When they are forced to spend the money they'd saved for the trip on emergency repairs, the rest of the family pitches in to raise the cash all over again. Alas, even after the couple is on their way to the coast, disaster continues dogging their trail--and back home, things aren't going so well for John-Boy (Richard Thomas) either. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Waltons: The Awakening Although she is becoming increasingly infirm and hard of hearing, Grandma Walton (Ellen Corby) stubbornly refuses to see a doctor. Grandma's intractability is more or less mirrored by 14-year-old Mary Ellen Walton (Judy Norton-Taylor), who wakes up one morning determined never again to be treated like a child. Unfortunately, Mary Ellen's declaration of independence may have negative results when she falls in love with a much-older college boy (James Carroll Jordan). The episode's closing narration clues us in to what the future holds in store for Mary Ellen--information which completely contradicts what will actually occur in such later Waltons episodes and TV-movies like Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain! ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Based on writer Tucker Max's own debauchery-driven memoirs
Fred Zinnemann's sensitive film on the plight of paraplegic WWII veterans features Marlon Brando in his superbly moving screen debut. He plays Lt. Bud Wilozek, one of a group of veterans recovering in the paraplegic ward of a hospital in his hometown. His former fiancÃ©e, Ellen (Theresa Wright), explains to his physician, Dr. Brock (Everett Sloane), her concern about his isolation and apparent depression since he has broken their engagment and refuses to see her. He counsels her to be patient, but when he decides to broach the issue with Bud, the embittered patient reacts angrily to the doctor's intrusiveness, and continues to refuse to see Ellen. The doctor cajoles the withdrawn paraplegic into the life of the ward, where fellow patients Richard Erdman, Jack Webb, and Arthur Jurado begin to pull Bud out of his spiritual miasma. At length, his sense of hope starts to return, and after seeing Ellen for the first time in months, he begins to contemplate the possibility of marriage. Zinnemann and screenwriter Carl Foreman spent a month in a veteran's hospital researching the film, and Brando lived in the paraplegic unit for a time as part of his preparation. ~ Michael Costello, All Movie Guide
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