Awakening Land - 1978 - TV

Directed by Boris Sagal
Writing credits (WGA): James Lee Barrett; Liam O'Brian

If you would like a copy of this movie, (not released on video) contact Tom.


Credited cast overview:
Jane Seymour .... Genny Luckett
Elizabeth Montgomery .... Sayward Luckett Wheeler
Hal Holbrook .... Portius Wheeler - the Solitary
Steven Keats .... Jake Tench
Louise Lathan .... Jary Luckett
Tony Muckus, Jr. .... Worth Luckett (as Tony Mockus)
Derin Altay .... Achsa Luckett
Michelle Stacy .... Sulie Luckett
Barney McFadden .... Louie Scurrah
William H. Macy .... Will Beagle (as W. H. Macy)
Jeanette Nolan .... Granny McWhirter
James D. O'Reilly .... Angus Witherspoon
Charles Tyner .... Reverend Hutchins
Dorrie Kavanaugh .... Mistress Bartram
Bert Remsen .... Isaac Barker

(full cast/crew listing)

Plot Summary

"The Awakening Land" is divided into three segments:

"The Trees" originally aired - Sunday, Feb. 19, 1978
"The Fields" originally aired - Monday, Feb. 20, 1978
"The Town" originally aired - Tuesday, Feb. 21, 1978

The story begins in 1790 with an unmarried Sayward, (Elizabeth Montgomery) alone in the wilderness and burdened with the care of her three sisters after her mother's death, Genny Luckett, played by Jane Seymour, being the oldest.

In time, she meets and marries Portius Wheeler, played by Hal Holbrook, a recluse lawyer from the East. They raise four children -- a child dies while playing near a fire outside the cabin -- and Sayward watches her husband, with her help, become an important figure in the state.

Genny Luckett marries a Woodsmen, Louie Scurrah, whose roving eye draws in her younger sister Achsa causing severe conflict between her & Genny, resulting in a Tramatic experience for Genny (as well as abuse at the hand of Louie) that leaves her without speech for a period of time.

In the end the love of her family & her faith in God lead her to reclaim herself & when circumstances permit, to live a full life with Will Beagle (played by W.H. Macy), whom she marries.

Starting in September, 1978, Jane Seymour & Elizabeth Montgomery spent a grueling 2-1/2 months filming in New Salem. Producers were convinced the movie should be made there once the State of Illinois film office persuaded them to look at the village, and once the Springfield city fathers agreed to fill up a nearby lake so it would resemble the Ohio River.

Authenticity is the key to this movie. Filmed late 1978 in the reconstructed post-Colonial village of New Salem, the story follows the late Conrad Richter's book about a family settling the Ohio River Valley after the American Revolution so closely that stars Jane Seymour & Elizabeth Montgomery believed there may be some surprises in store.

contributed by Tom