Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982) starring Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton, Mary Beth McDonough directed by Gwen Arner Movie Review

Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Judy Norton in Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982)

The Walton's Turn to Mum

Mary Ellen (Judy Norton) and Jonesy (Richard Gilliland) have got married and whilst on their honeymoon they talk about their future life together and the children they are going to have. But whilst driving to the store Mary Ellen suffers a car accident which leaves her with internal injuries and doctors telling her that having more children would be extremely dangerous for her which pushes her in to a state of depression. Meanwhile Ben's (Eric Scott) wife Cindy (Leslie Winston) tracks down her birth mum who turns out to be extremely wealthy and starts lavishing money on their children and Cindy much to Ben's annoyance. Jim-Bob (David W. Harper) is also having girl trouble as Aimee (DeAnna Robbins) is having trouble with Corabeth (Ronnie Claire Edwards) and starts making eyes at Drew (Tony Becker) who EliZabeth (Kami Cotler) is keen on. Thankfully whilst Olivia (Michael Learned) is still at the Arizona sanatorium due to her tuberculosis she always has advice for her children.

In total there have been 7 movies featuring "The Waltons"; the original "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story" which preceded the TV series, 3 TV specials which followed the end of the series in the 80s and then another 3 reunion movies which came in the 90s. Being one to do things ass about face I have watched the three reunion movies plus the original movie but up until now none of the specials. Ironically that is probably a good thing as unless you remember the episodes from the final couple of series watching the specials is a bit harder. Basically what I am saying is it would pay to do some catching up on the TV show before watching these or else you may struggle to remember when Olivia left and why John-Boy isn't about or even who Cindy is as it was in series 7 that she was introduced.

Ralph Waite and Eric Scott in Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain (1982)

But once you have given yourself a trip down memory lane which if you don't fancy buying The Waltons' boxset and watching them all you can do online "Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain", the second of the specials, is entertaining as ever. It certainly has some grittier aspects with Mary Ellen struggling with news that having children with Jonesy would be very dangerous for her whilst it also has that wholesome life on the mountain touch which you expect from "The Waltons".

But as was the case with "The Waltons" during those final series as some cast members left it just doesn't quite feel right. Yes it is certainly great to see Michael Learned as Olivia again but with no Richard Thomas and Ellen Corby it is missing something. It also seems like the various story threads are too separate and needs someone to draw them together.

What this all boils down to is that "Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain" feels like an extended episode of the series which is how it was intended but like with how things were towards the end of the series it feels incomplete. Despite that it is still enjoyable for those who remember growing up with what happened up on Waltons Mountain.