Lawrences of the Frontier

Joey, Andrew and Matthew Lawrence in Brothers of the Frontier (1996)

Ben Frye (Jonathan Frakes) has always had trouble with land baron Byron Holcomb (Don S. Davis) and Holcomb's son Hiram (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) has taken on the grudge as his own, causing issues for Ben's boys; Ethan (Joey Lawrence), Aaron (Matthew Lawrence) and Jamie (Andrew Lawrence). When issues with the Holcomb family see Ben and his family forced to leave their beloved home the brothers end up separated from their folks and so together, along with the help of a Native American woman, must track down their parents.

I can just imagine the pitch for "Brothers of the Frontier" here's a story of 3 brothers of varying ages navigating the frontier together after getting separated from their folks. I can imagine the powers who green light movies might have been a little under whelmed about the proposal because frankly the lost in the wilderness sorts of movies were done in the 80s. But I bet some bright spark suggested having the 3 Lawrence brothers in the movie and suddenly those with the power saw a movie with appeal. And it is the gimmick of having Joey, Matthew and Andrew Lawrence in one movie which makes it watchable even if at times the Lawrence style of delivery is a little comical.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar in Brothers of the Frontier (1996)

Of course there is more to "Brothers of the Frontier" than have 3 Lawrences in it; we have the whole adventure side of the movie as after trouble on the river the boys get separated from their parents. As such we see them catching fish, having an encounter with a bear as well as befriending the Native American Chewlynndit who Ethan is a little captivated by. But we also have the Holcomb boys trying to track down the Fryes with a long haired Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Hiram wanting to make Ethan suffer. Whilst there are some entertaining incidents along the way this side of the movie is quite typical.

But I tell you what, whilst "Brothers of the Frontier" is flawed and relies heavily on the gimmick of having the Lawrence brothers playing on screen brothers it is still watch able. This has the sort of look I associate with "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and probably will still entertain those who use to enjoy the wholesome nature of that show.

What this all boils down to is that "Brothers of the Frontier" is one of those made for TV movies which for some will have very little appeal but for others who watched back in the 90s probably holds some sort of charm, especially for those who had and may still hold a crush on any of the Lawrence brothers.

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