The Eight is Enough thread made me wonder if anyone remembers the Waltons...
I loved that show so much...I know it was old-timey but something about it appealed to me.
And that theme song...if I hear it now it just makes me cry....
Yup, and I remember that the Grandfather, Will Geer, was a gay communist.
And Grandma ate at the "y".
I watched it when it first came on. Still watch reruns occasionally.
Good night, OP-Boy!
Loved that show.
i saw mary-ellen in a straight to DVD movie recently. she cursed like a sailor, i knew who she was right away.
oh, and richard thomas showed major box in several episodes. i whacked off to that shit several times in the early 70s.
Is Richard Thomas scheduled to be back on the next season of "The Americans"? (I think it starts in February.)
Unbelievable that this who was on for ten fucking years.
"Damn this Depression!"
Sometimes I like a little privacy, Mama.
I would have been private with John Boy....more handjobs than he ever wanted!
Pa Walton (Ralph Waite) still gets around -- he has recurring roles on NCIS, Bones and Days Of Our Lives.
I worked at Warner Bros when that show was being filmed. One time I saw Ellen Corby at lunch in the commissary. She was pushing a tray down the cafeteria line with a cig butt hanging off her lower lip. Totally destroyed my image of Grandma Walton.
I brought up The Waltons in an earlier thread of shows I'd like to see rebooted. LOL that all of the ultra conservatives I've ever talked to also
praise this paragon of family values and positive humor. I wonder if they're aware of all of the very liberal messages hidden in the entertaining but valuable life lessons.
on another note, wasn't Richard Thomas involved in making 'The Front Runner' into a movie?
'Front Runner' was written by Patricia Nell Warren, and the actress Patricia Neal played the mom in the Walton's pilot, 'The Homecoming'
Grandma was a narrow minded bitch, so provincial and self-righteous. I wish John Boy had thrown her and her rocking chair off the front porch.
I would have nailed that hot ginger Ben in a second.
I loved " The Homecoming" and "Spencer's Mountain "- the original Waltons. We loved " The Waltons" when Iw as growing up. Started my interest in thGreat Depression. Loved that them song. No television show today has a good theme song.
R2- very funny
And didn't Alex Haley claim his family is related to the real Walton clan?
why didn't John Boy get that smudge zapped off his face? really! it looked like some took a shit-covered finger and wiped it on his cheek!
My husband wanted to revert 99% of America back to the morals of the Waltons and the economics of Walmart.
R22, Shall I send you the link on child labor activity in that time period? We know that prostitution and illegal narcotic sales was also common. Of course it was easier to have your own home based business selling food and crafts since there were fewer regulations.
Richard Thomas is 62 now. yikes.
I preferred 'Apple's Way'. It was much more timely, taking place in the '70s. It presented an unvarnished peek into the ethics of the decade. Much more realistic than 'Family'.
Apple's Way- I loved that short lived show.
I loved Road Apple's Way. Nothing like a good road apple to get my juices flowing
Totally forgot about Apple's Way. Baby dyke Kristy Mcnichol was actually really good.
Jim Bob is gay, owns an art gallery and has a huge cock.
Say more, R30.
Was 'James at 15' also an Earl Hamner show?
Another show that should have ended way before it finally got the axe. Sorry but you can't take the matriarch away from the family unless she dies or runs off with the local shopkeeper (yes, you Ike Godsey).
Plus, let's face it, the kids weren't cute anymore. And some of them lost the ability to act as they got older.
Ben was hot. Jim Bob was not.
Watched it every Thursday night for the first few seasons. Hard to believe they replaced John-Boy in the later years.
I saw Richard Thomas on Broadway a few years ago in a play called "Race" with James Spader. He was pretty good.
Please r30 more details. How do you know about his cock?
Great show. I dreamed the other night that John Boy was fucking Erin. Very disturbing.
Ugh, the Hindenburg episode was so cheesy.
They should rerun the Thanksgiving reunion that had the family reeling over the JFK assassination. I thought it was the best of the reunion efforts.
It did kind of have the feel of two shows. The depression era that was well done, and the WWII episodes that suffered from -- the loss of John Boy, Olivia for the most part leaving the series, the death and stroke of Grandpa and Grandpa, and the normal curse of the kids growing up and losing their natural acting ability that often occurs as child stars when they grow up. They even had their own version of cousin oliver when cousin Rose and two kids came to live on the mountain.
The writing declined as well -- Elizabeth haunted by a poltergeist, Mary Ellen's husband turning out to have faked his death because he lost his "manhood", and if I remember correctly, the introduction of the Jon Boy recast was pretty soapy.
The later episodes also had a lot in common with later Happy Days episodes where there was a lot of early 80's feathered hair, and I believe Mary Ellen would run around in tight designer jeans that were 40 years ahead of their time. The depression episodes had clothing that looked a little more accurate, and while the girl's long seventies straight hair was probably not accurate -- it did not seem as egregious on the rural farm girls as the later feathered or frizzed perm look.
The thing that got me was how the Waltons were "poor," yet the owned a house, a mountain, timber and a lumber mill.
I also liked Apple's Way, but I think it's because I had a crush on one of the actors. But for the life of me, I can't remember anyone who was on that show except the father who played an evil character in Robocop.
Um, it was the DEPRESSION you moron!!! Nearly everyone was poor.
I grew up watching and have fond memories. I'm an old fart at 46 to many of you, but it showed kindness love and still makes me feel good. So much programming today is sassy one liner shitcom, cop procedurals and (un)reality crap. Little House and The Waltons were good shows. Glad I had them.
ps Jim Bob and Jason totally had BDF.
I was delighted to see that the very final TV movie they did with "The Waltons" characters "A Walton Easter" in 1997 featured elderly supporting characters Mamie and Emily Baldwin, the spinster bootleggers, played so wonderfully by Helen Kleeb, and Mary Jackson. This Walton's tv movie was also the final professional acting job for both long-time character actresses, who went on to live until the ages of 96, and 95 respectively.
Mary Jackson memorably played the lady giving the garden club lecture in Laurence Harvey's drug-induced hallucination in "The Manchurian Candidate".
My mother would never let us watch The Waltons, she said if I want to see hillbillys I will visit your dad's family.
I was told that Jim Bob was real close to one of te lighting guys who was only out to a few friends. My bf brother was a prop guy for the last season and a few of the later TV movies. He was told directly that Jim Bob "had a whole lot to be proud of, that very few people saw." He also said the last season all the Walton kids became very nice to crew. He believes they realized the offers were not coming in and none of them would go much further.
Didn't they have a special about the moon landing with everybody just aged a year or two since WW2? Never watched the specials but this kind of inaccuracy would spoil it for me.
Many shows that are period pieces tend to fall apart and become full of anachronisms with time, such as "Happy Days."
The show should have ended when Grandma came home from the hospital. Instead, it went on for about three more seasons and the WW2 storyline was not as interesting as the Depression years.
R45, well, they did manage to get through all of WW2 in about 2 years.
I remember the show from when I was a young kid in the 70s. I had no idea it lasted so long. Or that they replaced John Boy.
In the early years the scripts were very 'live and let live' and emphasized the importance of taking care of neighbors, that racism was evil, public religious piety was vain and wrong, etc.
Did they change in the later years after Reagan was elected? i can't imagine the almost socialist vibe from early on persisting into the early 80s.
R48, the show ended in the Spring of 1981, so the Reagan era had barely begun.
It seems to me that all TV shows based in a different time eventually quit trying to be as authentic as they can. MASH is the worst offender. When they gave Margaret her 80s perm it was over.
[quote]MASH is the worst offender. When they gave Margaret her 80s perm it was over.
Don't forget my period-perfect '50s perm!
[quote] They should rerun the Thanksgiving reunion that had the family reeling over the JFK assassination. I thought it was the best of the reunion efforts.
I really liked that reunion movie.
R48, no, they never changed - in fact, if I recall correctly, John Walton had chances to get rich from lumber contracts during WWII but realized he would lose control of his land iand it would change the whole character of the mountain if he did. So what he did instead was start a lumber cooperative with smaller landowners in the surrounding areas so they would ALL make money but not to the detriment of the peaceful character of the mountain.
Ralph Waite (the actor who played John Walton) was very liberal in real life and even ran for office in California.
I love the two-hour Easter episode from the second or thrid season when Olivia contracts polio. That was beautifully done.
People often mistakenly remember it as sugary and saccharine but it was usually anything but. There was a lot of wit, and subtle sexual content (Grandpa pinching Grandma in the butt!). Loved Grandpa and Pa enjoying the Baldwin sisters' "recipe" while the women folk glared, and always liked that the Dad wasn't a church-goer much to Momma's chagrin.
People also seem to remember it being tragedy filled but that was "Little House." Bad things happened on "the waltons" from time to time but not that often.
[quote]Richard Thomas is 62 now. yikes.
He looks amazing for 62 on "The Americans," looking the same as 40 years ago with a full head of 1981-appropriate hair (the year in which the first season was set). Could be a hair piece but looks real enough to me.
I believe it was one of the reunion specials that I liked best. They were upset because the Baldwin s got the younger children drunk on the recipe. Olivia and Grandma went to te Baldwin house will tire irons and beat the fuck out of both old ladies. John and Ike Godsey discovered their badly beaten bodies. Both men stripped and had their way with them, anally.
Do people like R58 actually think they're funny?
Anyway, it's rare that you see a role so perfectly cast as Richard Thomas for John-Boy. My father hated this show. Since it was still the days of one TV in the family room I didn't see a lot of episodes but what I saw I loved. Thanks to this thread I just put it on top in Netflix. I've probably only seen about 10% of the episodes so most will be new to me.
Just a few weeks ago, EW had a spread of the cast in a reunion photo. Jim Bob is not hot , obese and has not been successful in life at all.
My favorite Walton boy was Jason, not in a sexual way, but I just liked his character and thought he was the gentlest soul.
John Boy was the intellectual, Jason the musician, Ben the cunning one and Jim Bob the idiot.
It wasn't all saccharine. Especially the pilot, The Homecoming. The doll with the smashed face was terrifying. I think they lightened it up when it got greenlighted as a series.
Thankfully Michael Learned got the Olivia part. Patricia Neal was laughably hammy. She was like a Punchy Players characterization of herself.
"Who wants to see my Christmas Caaaaaactussss?"
Yes, Patricia Neal was sort of creepy in the role. Definitely not as warm and lovely as Michael Learned.
Remember when Michael Learned got a couple of facelifts toward the end of the series? Livvy Walton's soft, careworn face turned into a Beverly Hills porcelain mask.
So again, what's the chances of a reboot or a similar copycat? Loved the positive portrayal of older actors as sexual but realistic and coping with aging and illness. Realistic that the family had mixed feelings about Church attendance and values. That's what made the show worth watching for people of all backgrounds.
One strange change in the original TV movie is that the Baldwin sisters gave John Boy the "recipe" in the book to take home with him and mother gets mad but is resigned. In the movie, she's furious but it just turns out to be egg nog.
How many of the Walton Men tasted Ike Godsey's uncut horse cock, I wonder?
It was tuberculosis.
Michael, are you still waiting by the phone for Young and Restless to call?
The Waltons were no Family Holvak, that's for sure.
The Patricia Neal version was terrible.
"John Boy, are you smoking cigarettes up here?"
"Then why do you need the door closed?"
I guess Mama Walton couldn't conceive of a teenage boy whacking off...or writing in his diary.
Miss Michael Learned was a great actress. Wish she had more work after the Waltons. She had Nurse which lasted two seasons and she won the Emmy in that too.
I only care for the first few seasons. I hate the ones where Grandma came back to the show after having her stroke...she couldn't really move or speak, so they just have her point and grunt once in awhile. Once the kids were grown up and they brought in that fat Rose character, it was all downhill. The worst, most ridiculous episode is the one where Elizabeth attracts a poltergeist.
Why did Michael Learned leave the show? Leaving a well running show sounds like a stupid career move. Who would hire her if she is a known flight risk? She was a big asset of the show. Leaving the show jeopardizes the whole business.
If Patricia Neal seemed "hammy" it was only because her intense emoting was a stark contrast to Michael Learned's acting style, which was as wooden as a cigar store Indian. Really, her voice and facial expressions were unchanging. She never raised her voice, never got passionate about anything. Even when she shed tears, which was rare, she was lukewarm. She really did run the gamut of emotions from A to B. I always thought she was an incredibly boring, limited actress.
Ralph Waite performed his role low-key, but it suited his character; a strong but gentle family man.
Richard Thomas was passable looking The girl who played Erin was pretty. But the rest of them...ugh! Jason and Ben and Elizabeth looked like Howdy Doody. Jim Bob looked mentally challenged. Mary Ellen had that goofy face and big-boned body. And the acting of all of them was mostly pitiful and unconvincing. Thomas was the best actor of all of them, but that wasn't really saying a whole hell of a lot.
The Waltons were supposed to be poor, but they lived in quite a spacious house. And when it burned they immediately set about making it like it was before. Where did the money to do that come from? They didn't seem that poor to me.
I remember how big this show used to be. It was supposed to represent family entertainment at its best. And the ending became iconic: "Goodnight, Jim Bob. Goodnight Elizabeth. Goodnight, John Boy. Good night, Mama." It was great fodder for a lot of parodying.
"Why did Michael Learned leave the show?"
r76, Michael Learned was concerned that she would be typecast.
She went on a tour of the play "Miss Margarida's Way" which can get quite dirty.
Miss Michael Learned won four Emmys as the Lead Actress in a drama series. Is that a record. I really enjoyed her style. Instead of wooden I appreciate subtlety.
I didn't find Michael Learned wooden at all. She was subtle but was expressive in the way she comported herself, without overdoing it. I think this is probably in keeping with how depression-era wives/mothers behaved. Not icy, just too busy to get caught up in minor things.
Unlike Miss Neal, who made the character way too maudlin. Every scene was Acting.
"Miss Michael Learned won four Emmys as the Lead Actress in a drama series."
Lots of people have won Emmys who didn't deserve them. She's one of them.
I thought Patricia Neal's Olivia Walton had a lot more depth than Learned's. And her performance was not "maudlin" or "Acting." She was playing a woman with seven children in the Depression whose husband was missing! And it was Christmas time! How was she supposed to act? Calm, cool, and collected? Well, I guess that's how Learned would have played it.
I remember a moving scene where she tells John-boy, not knowing if or when her husband will return home, that the only thing Santy Claus was going to bring the children were scarves that she'd made them. I also remember a scene where she blows up at John-boy for coming home late; she assumes he's been lolly-gagging at the Baldwin sister's, and seeing him with a container in his hand assumes it's "the recipe" and bellows at him to go outside and "pour it on the ground!" He meekly tells her that the Baldwins were trying to help and that the container has egg nog, not whisky. Olivia falls silent and later tells the grandparents how ashamed she is of herself. Patricia Neal was GREAT as Olivia Walton. I guess most people are too familiar with Learned's constrained, uptight Olivia to remember how good Neal was. And by the way, if you want to compare awards, Patricia Neal won an OSCAR, which I'd say tops Learned's Emmys.
I wasn't comparing awards and I love Patricia Neal. I was just wondering if four as the lead actress in a drama was a record. And I googied it. She's tied with Tyne Daly. LOL Angela Lansbury has the most nominations, 12, without ever winning.
Why didn't Ellen Corby warrant a "Miss"?
Of course they were poor...they only had one toilet! for all those people!
I'd hate to have to follow Granpaw in there.
No Waltons thread is complete without its Carol Burnett spoof:
[quote]Why didn't Ellen Corby warrant a "Miss"?
Because she had a woman's name.
The actress Ellen Corby (Grandma) was in a lot of movies of the 40's, usually bit parts when the studios had contracted character actors unlike today. The redhead, Ben, was very good looking. And how could one forget Cora Beth, with her airs and attempting to bring culture the town. The show is still on tv, endless reruns.
Unfortunately The Waltons didn't have a resident bitch character.
Nellie Olson played flawlessly by Alison Arngrim
[quote] Unfortunately The Waltons didn't have a resident bitch character.
I thin Mary Ellen filled the resident bitch position most of the time. She and Jim Bob were the only Walton kids that I disliked.
I love love Patricia Neal and her extremely raspy voice in the pilot. She really brought the drama. The egg nog scene is my favorite.
Olivia: What's that you got in your hand?
John-Boy: It's a present, Mama, from Miss Mamie and Miss Emily.
Olivia: Bootleg whiskey. Don't those crazy old women know I don't allow whiskey in this house? I've got young children in this house! What sort of example do they think we set here? You take it out yonder and pour it on the ground!
John-Boy: It's not whiskey, Mama, it's egg nog.
I always thought that Patricia Neal looked the part of a careworn, Depression-era woman (with seven children!) a lot more than Michael Learned. Neal looked like she'd been through a lot...and she had! The loss of the only man she'd ever really loved (Gary Cooper), the aborting of his child, the death of her first born, the near death and brain damage of her son, a crippling stroke...whew! She really looked like somebody who'd seen some hard times. Michael Learned, with her golden blonde hair and strangely glowing peaches and cream complexion, looked like an actress playing the part of a poor woman. I never found her convincing as a woman who had to work long and hard. She looked like a woman who never worked at all!
Neal said she didn't do the tv series because nobody asked her. No doubt the network wanted to go with and actress who wasn't still recovering from a stroke.
Every time I water my Christmas cactus I think of that scene from the pilot where Mom goes to the cupboard to fetch her Christmas cactus. Funny, I don't put mine in the dark, and they bloom fine, and nearly all Winter, too.
"Unfortunately The Waltons didn't have a resident bitch character."
Cora Beth was the resident bitch of The Waltons. LHOP premiered in 1974, at just the same time as Cora Beth, with her sense of superiority and her grande dame airs, moved to Walton's Mountain. Coincidence? I think not.