The Waltons

From Academic Kids

The Waltons was an American television series about a family living at Walton's Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. The show ran on CBS from 1972 to 1981.

The family, consisting of Olivia and John Walton and their seven children, struggles to live a decent life during the Great Depression and the Second World War (roughly from the early 1930s to the mid-1940s in the continuity of the series). The audience follows this family's existence through the eyes of John-Boy, the eldest son and an aspiring novelist.

The series started with an episode featuring a deaf girl that was seemingly abandoned at the Waltons' home. More stories with a message of social value followed.

The Waltons were always low on money. On occasion this caused John Walton Sr. to work extremely hard until he collapsed. At another time he took up a part-time job in an office; however, the harsh conditions did not agree with him and he soon quit the job.

Occasionally, the Waltons would make the acquaintance of people who had a very different view to the world or upbringing. They encounter gypsies, a group of acrobats from a circus and an actress who is absolutely broke. Another connection to the world outside Walton's Mountain is John-Boy who first attends (the fictional) Boatright College and later goes to New York to work as a journalist.

The Waltons were always helpful. For example, the day they celebrated getting out of debt they discovered that Ike Godsey had been cheated when he bought a number of refrigerators which did not work. They helped him by taking out another loan.

Alcohol was also an issue on the show. The women, most notably Olivia and Esther, were very strictly against it, but the men, most notably Zeb, would sometimes visit the Baldwin sisters who brewed their late father's wonderful "recipe" (which was, in fact, whiskey).

For a while Esther Walton was not seen on the series due to the stroke actress Ellen Corby suffered. However, Esther returned after a while, just before Zeb died (in 1941 in the continuity of the series) due to the death of Will Geer. Esther has a very hard time getting over it.

World War II deeply influenced the family. Mary-Ellen's husband Curtis Willard, a physician, is called up. He is sent to Pearl Harbor where he dies during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Several of the younger Waltons enlisted in the military.

The show was created by Earl Hamner Jr., after his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 of the same name starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara. After a long television run, some additional made-for-TV movies aired in the 1990s.

In the German dubbing version the name of Zebulon "Zeb" Walton was changed to Samuel "Sam" Walton. The television network ZDF which first aired The Waltons in Germany was obviously afraid that the name "Zeb" could be mistaken with "Sepp" which is a Bavarian short form of the name Joseph and subject to clichee. Also, a few minutes were cut from each episode in the German version so that the show would fit into its designated time slot.

In 2004, the first season of The Waltons was issued on DVD, followed by the second season in April 2005.

Main Cast

External links

de:Die Waltons

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