Young Pioneers (1976) Rated NR

Young PioneersTeenage newlyweds David and Molly Beaton move to the Dakotas in the 1870s. Based on Rose Wilder Lane’s novel by the same name. Starring Roger Kern, Linda Purl, Robert Hays

I loved this movie. Lane is the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and her mother’s influence shows in this film; it’s very reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie.  Frankly, I’m surprised that the 1978 TV series based on this plot movie didn’t take off; I’ll have to track down the series to see what happened.  Perhaps, with  Little House on the Prairie still airing at the time, it didn’t garner as great of a following.

In Young Pioneers, though, Linda Purl was fabulous as Molly Beaton, the wide-eyed city girl with an air of innocence about her future but the inner fortitude to handle the harshness of frontier life. She reminded me so much of Mary in Little House. As with Little House, this film gave an accurate portrayal of both the joy and hardship of life on the plains, with an equally strong cast of characters. This must-see movie is worth a watch.



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