The Waltons Complete Series; Seasons 1 - 9 + Movie Collection DVD
USA Format; Region 1
Number of Discs: 42
The Waltons: The Complete First Season collects those initial episodes from the series building on the strengths of the Homecoming pilot, which introduced the extended Walton clan led by a strong-willed mill owner, John (Andrew Duggan), and his equally resolute wife, Olivia (Patricia Neal). The Waltons recast those key roles (as well as a few others) with Ralph Waite and Michael Learned (yup, a female), but Richard Thomas carried over as oldest child John-Boy Walton, an aspiring writer whose cusp-of-manhood view informs the series. Will Geer (Seconds) replaced Edgar Bergen as Grandpa Walton, Ellen Corby remained as Grandma, and John and Olivia's large brood (seven kids in all) were filled out by largely unknown, young actors. The episodes, still delightful and touching, strong on production values and unusually tight and polished for primetime drama, tended to focus on creator Hamner's pet themes of self-sacrifice and heroic effort when the going got tough.
Enduring another hard year of the Depression, the Walton family remembers that the true richness of life comes from the joy, love and compassion they bring one another. John-Boy's (Richard Thomas) parents, John (Ralph Waite) and Olivia (Michael Learned), and grandparents (Will Geer, Ellen Corby) set sterling examples of strength and determination for the generations to follow. In the second season, Thanksgiving joy turns to worry when John-Boy suffers a head injury, and Grandma Walton inherits some money - and a host of problems. Plus, John-Boy makes the family proud as he graduates from high school, and a corporation offers John a modest fortune to sell Walton's Mountain. Will he do it? Sissy Spacek, John Ritter and Ron Howard guest star in this heartwarming, classic series.
In Season Three, John-Boy heads off to college – and life will never be the same on Walton's Mountain. When scholarship winner John-Boy enters Boatwright University, Jason takes his big brother's place as head kid wrangler for the Walton brood while finding his own identity in music. And while John and Olivia celebrate twenty years of marriage, Grandpa and Grandma leave home (but return). Change has come to Walton's Mountain. But one thing will never change: the powerful family bond that keeps the Waltons forever together. Both topical and timeless, the third season sees the Waltons facing the age-old issues of family: holding children close and letting them go, doing without and making do.
It's 1936. Hitler and Mussolini threaten the world. King Edward gives up the English throne for love. Gangbusters is on the radio, and a movie crew hires John-Boy as a scriptwriter. May Ellen applies to nursing school, Jim-bob discovers a shocking fact about his birth and a fire drives the Waltons from their home. Events large and small, far off and near, touch the lives of all eleven Waltons – from Grandpa down to little Elizabeth. They bring tests, tears and triumphs. And they bring the closely knit Waltons even closer together. Share in the lives of America's favorite family – a family poor in possessions, but rich in understanding, hope and love.
In Season Five, John-Boy becomes a publisher and Mary Ellen becomes a bride! In front-page news, The Blue Ridge Chronicle hits the streets, with publisher John-Boy Walton covering everything from a local break-in (with brother Ben among the suspects) to his eyewitness account of the Hindenburg crash. And, in a story filled with surprises and a ceremony filled with poignancy, Mary Ellen becomes the first Walton child to marry. More adventures await, including Jason's job in a honky-tonk, Grandma's set-to with the minister, and a heartwarming Christmas episode that's sure to become a holiday favorite with families everywhere. Along the way, old friends return, new friends arrive and the family foundation of love shines forth in one of television's most enduring series
It's a big year for welcomes on Walton's Mountain. Welcome back to John-Boy – visiting from New York, and to Grandma – finally home from the hospital. And welcome to the family for John Curtis, the baby boy of Mary Ellen and Curt. But all of that welcoming joy is set against the tragedy of events in the outside world. As the fall of 1939 turns into the spring of 1940, war rages in Europe…and the Waltons are soon caught up in its chilling grasp. Curt is called up for duty. Soldiers train on Walton property. The first local enlistee dies. British children flee the Blitz for the safety of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Depression might be over…but even tougher times lie ahead.
The winds of war blow across Walton's Mountain in Season Seven of the beloved series. "Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy…" While an unflinching President Franklin Roosevelt responds to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States – and the Waltons – plunge into the chaos and heroism of World War II. John-Boy reports from London for Stars and Stripes. Mary Ellen nurses the war wounded. Jason, Ben and even Jim-Bob debate about enlisting. At the same time, John and Olivia expand their lumber business to aid in the war effort. But the personal events on Walton's Mountain are almost as dramatic… Still reeling from Grandpa's death, the family experiences the sorrow of losing another family member…and the surprise of gaining a new Walton.
In Season Eight, war brings the family closer together, even as it sends them far apart. "The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son, John Walton, Jr., has been reported missing in action…" The telegram that every parent fears brings sudden heartache to the Walton family. But the penultimate season brings joy as well. Olivia returns home, her health restored. Ben and Cindy welcome another Walton into the world. Cousin Rose and her rambunctious grandchildren fill empty rooms in the Walton home. Mary Ellen and Erin challenge scoffing men in a horse race. Jim-Bob graduates from high school and makes a decision that fills the family with profound pride. And throughout the emotional season, all the Waltons pitch in to help the war effort, eager to defend their country… and to bring the Walton sons, each in uniform, safely home.
The final season of The Waltons is notable for the ever-changing number of people sitting at the family's long dinner table. Early in the season, with all four boys at war in Europe and Japan, plates are set for John Sr. (Ralph Waite), cousin Rose (Peggy Rea)--the de facto woman of the house with matriarch Olivia (Michael Learned) gone away--and sisters Mary Ellen (Judy Norton-Taylor), Erin (Mary Beth McDonough), and Elizabeth (Kami Cotler), plus brother Ben's wife Cindy (Leslie Winston). Once the war is over and Ben, Jim-Bob (David W. Harper), Jason (Jon Walmsley) and John-Boy (Robert Wightman, replacing Richard Thomas) are back home, the number of people seated at that table still continues to go up and down for all kinds of reasons. That fluctuation says much about the state of the family and of The Waltons itself, long past the era when all those kids were still in school and regularly eating with a full complement of parents and grandparents. With both of the latter gone and even John Sr. disappearing halfway through the season to help ailing Olivia move to Arizona, it's the young people ruling the roost now.
Who says you can't go home again? Throughout six post-series reunion movies, the Walton home still stands, "generous in its love, filled with memories, and always ready to welcome us." From the first gathering of the far-flung mountain clan in A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982) to the final goodnights in A Walton Easter (1997), these uplifting and heartwarming films are quality time spent with one of America's favorite TV families. Each film amounts to a Very Special Episode of the top-rated, Emmy-winning TV series, rich with family milestones (weddings and births), and crises that will test and reaffirm the family credos of hard work, common sense, and faith. Most of the original cast is back. The late Will Geer, as Grandpa Walton, is sadly absent, and Ellen Corby, who suffered a stroke in 1977, plays a diminished role as Grandma Walton. The character of John-Boy, the aspiring writer whose reminiscences of life on Walton's Mountain were the heart of the series, is absent in the first two films and is portrayed by Richard Wrightman in A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain. With all due respect, we know John-Boy, we consider John-Boy to be a friend, and you, Mr. Wrightman, are no John-Boy. No, that would be Richard Thomas, who won an Emmy for his iconic role, and makes a welcome return in A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993), which jumps ahead nearly two decades to 1963, the same time frame as the third season of Mad Men. Suffice to say, different worlds, as witness the charming scene in A Walton Wedding (1995) in which the wedding party sings "Bicycle Built for Two" while seeing off John-Boy and his bride. There is a circle-of-life satisfaction to the final film in the set, A Walton Easter, in which John (Ralph Waite) and Olivia (the ageless Michael Learned) celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, and John-Boy contemplates returning to Walton's Mountain for good. "There's so much more out there beyond Walton's Mountain," a no-good former boyfriend cajoles the now-betrothed Erin in A Wedding on Walton's Mountain.