Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1999)
A Walton in Prairie Country
As a child two of my favourite TV shows were "The Waltons" and "Little House on the Prairie" although rather strangely whilst I remember some of the storylines from "The Waltons" my memories of "Little House on the Prairie" are considerably vaguer and are more a case of remembering the actors from the series. But the proposition of watching Richard Thomas, who for those who don't know made his name in "The Waltons" starring in a role synonymous with Michael Landon is an interesting one.
Now for those who have been on The Movie Scene before will know I am not much of a reader and have never read any of the books which Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her experiences in "The Little House" and so I have no idea how true to her stories this TV movie is. I do know that it has a very different feel to the TV series which I grew up watching and whilst I didn't expect it to feel the same the difference, the more grounded feel is not going to be to everyone's tastes and the same can be said with the performances with Richard Thomas unfortunately occasionally coming across as forcing the fatherly part of his performance.
So what happens in "Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" well it is a series of stories such as one where a series of blizzards hit the area and the families having holed up together to deal with the dropping temperatures and supplies running out face the fact their situation is desperate. There is also Laura falling for Almanzo Wilder and going from a girl to a young lady. We also have fires and a variety of other things which makes up the movie which as I understand some are based on the stories in her books others vary quite a lot. They are entertaining stories but they seem to lack something to make them really grab you and get you involved.
What this all boils down to is that "Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" is okay enough, an entertaining series of stories with a wholesome quality. But it just doesn't grab you and for those expecting anything like the old TV series are likely to be very disappointed. And it seems those with an interest in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder are even more disappointed especially with this claiming to be the true story of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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