The Waltons: Season 1
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The Waltons: The Complete First Season collects those initial episodes from the series building on the strengths of the Homecoming pilot, which introduced the extended Walton clan led by a strong-willed mill owner, John (Andrew Duggan), and his equally resolute wife, Olivia (Patricia Neal). The Waltons recast those key roles (as well as a few others) with Ralph Waite and Michael Learned (yup, a female), but Richard Thomas carried over as oldest child John-Boy Walton, an aspiring writer whose cusp-of-manhood view informs the series. Will Geer (Seconds) replaced Edgar Bergen as Grandpa Walton, Ellen Corby remained as Grandma, and John and Olivia's large brood (seven kids in all) were filled out by largely unknown, young actors. The episodes, still delightful and touching, strong on production values and unusually tight and polished for primetime drama, tended to focus on creator Hamner's pet themes of self-sacrifice and heroic effort when the going got tough.
Year 1 highlights include "The Carnival," in which the impoverished Waltons, who can't pay for tickets to see a circus performance, end up sheltering stranded carney folk. "The Typewriter" is a classic about John-Boy "borrowing" a museum's antique typewriter, only to have his sister Mary Ellen (Judy Norton) sell it as junk. "The Sinner" concerns the arrival of a fundamentalist minister on Walton's Mountain, finding comfort in the words of religious iconoclast John Walton after the clergyman makes a fool of himself with moonshine. That's Hamner himself providing touches of narration. During the long run of the multiple-award-winning The Waltons, there were many changes in casting and storylines. But this boxed set reveals a fine series in its pristine state. --Tom Keogh
- All 24 episodes on five discs
Top Customer Reviews
The Waltons made it's debut in the US on Sept 14th 1972 and continued on for nine seasons.
At first it struggled in the ratings but picked up speed after getting many good reviews and went to number one in the ratings. This first season won five Emmy awards including best series,best actor Richard Thomas,best actress Michael Learned and best supporting actress in Ellen Corby.
It went on to win many more.
The First Season episodes are-
The Foundling- A six year old deaf girl is found abandoned on the Waltons doorstep.
The Carnival- When the carnival manager leaves with their money,four stranded carnival members are helped by the Waltons.
The Calf- Jim Bob and Elizabeth take a calf to save it from slaughter.
The Hunt- John-Boy reluctantly goes on a hunt and saves John's life during a bear attack.
The Typewriter- John-Boy borrows the Baldwin's sisters typewriter to type a manuscript and loses it.
The Star- When a meteorite falls,Zeb believes it is an omen of his death and takes to bed.
The Sinner- The new preacher Matthew Fordwick(John Ritter)arrives and upsets John with his strict preaching.
The Boy From The CCC- A boy from the CCC who is found with an injured ankle is taken in by the Waltons and causes trouble.
The Ceremony- Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany come to Waltons Mountain.
The Legend- John's WW1 buddy comes to visit and is obviously living in the past. He accidently starts a fire.
The Literary Man- John Boy meets a writer and gets distracted from cutting timber therefore jeopardizing a timber contract.
The Dust Bowl Cousins-The Denby family,distant cousins,arrive on the mountain and upset everybodys life by stealing and fighting.
The Reunion- The Baldwin sisters cousin arrives for a visit and tries to scam the sisters out of their "recipe".
The Minstrel- Mary Ellen feels trapped in her surroundings and runs off with a travelling minstrel.
The Actress- A famous actress finds herself stranded on Waltons Mountain with car trouble. Her driver absconds with the money.
The Fire- Lutie Bascomb objects to Miss Hunter teaching the theory of evolution to her students. He sets fire to the school.
The Love Story- John Boy discovers love in the form of Jenny Pendleton.
The Courtship- Olivia's uncle Cody Nelson,laid off from his job,comes to visit the Waltons.
The Gypsies-a stranded Gypsy family refuses help until Grandma saves their babies life.
The Deed- The Waltons must raise money to register a deed to Waltons Mountain to stop a company from mining their mountain.
John-Boy goes into town to get a job and gets mugged.
The Scholar- A neighbor,Verdie Grant,asks John-Boy to teach her to read and write.
The Bicycle- John Boy agrees to help blacksmith Curtis Norton to write letters to his pen-pal fiancee.
She arrives to find him much different to the letters.
The Townie- After going on a date with John-Boy,Sarrah Simmonds(Sissy Spacek)sees him as a way to escape her boring lifestyle.
The Easter Story- Coming home from church,Olivia collapses and is diagnosed with polio.
After The Waltons was cancelled in 1981,there were some telemovies made,three rather average ones made in 1982 and another three much better ones,with Richard Thomas back as John-Boy,made in 1993,1995 and 1997. The final movie had John-Boy as a reporter on TV covering the 1969 moon landing.
One negative point-in what must have been a production error,the subtitles are in French only. There are no English subtitles.
Obviously someone at Warners Home Video has made a bad mistake in production. This makes it difficult for any elderly viewers or hard of hearing that might want to watch this show.
Subtitles are supposed to be standard on all DVD box sets and I note that overseas versions of The Waltons have corrected this mistake(just not the American version).
Hopefully,they will get that right when Season Two one day gets a release.
The Waltons first aired in 1972 on CBS. It was considered "hokey" by some of the critics of the day, yet it captured the hearts of the viewers and went on to be one of the finest long-running series on TV. It captured peoples hearts because it told stories of real people, real people in a family that loved and cared for each other. Although many of the stories are of course fictional, the writer, Earl Hamner (who is actually John-boy), weaves fiction with real-life drama and shows how his loving family dealt with the hard times they grew up in, and how they related to each other with love. In essence, the Waltons shows the viewer what all of us would like our families to be like. One cannot help caring about the characters because Hamner does such a great job of developing their unique personalities for us. The actors and actresses that play his family are perfect for the parts, and even though many of them are just children, their realistic acting makes one believe they are actually a real family. The series is carried on the shoulders of three central characters, John-Boy (Richard Thomas), his mother Olivia Walton (Michael Learned), and Father John Walton (played by Ralph Waite). All three are absolutely superb in their respective roles, and earned honors and accolades for their depiction of Hamner's family. When these three characters eventually left ths show in later years, the show itself folded.
If you have never seen The Waltons on TV, this is the place to start. The first season is perhaps the best, with stories that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer. I watch the shows with my own 6 children and even in these modern days with so many other distractions, my kids are thrilled with the stories. Each child relates to a particular Walton child, and after finishing an episode, they beg to watch another.
Television does not get better than The Waltons. I recommend this series for those viewers who desire more family values and less violence, sex, and questionable language and topics in their tv viewing. This is true family values TV, and I wish we had something like it today. The Waltons will capture your heart, and you will come to love the characters and care about them. Thank you Earl Hamner for sharing your lovely family with us!
Jim Konedog Koenig