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American Frontiersman Collection [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky
Based on a book by Norman Maclean, and closely based on his own youthful experiences, this made-for-TV drama concerns Mac (Jerry O'Connell), a teenage boy who gets a job working for the National Forest Service in Montana shortly after the end of World War II. With the help of veteran ranger Bill Bell (Sam Elliott), Mac learns a lot about forest management -- and about life. The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky also features Ricky Jay and Molly Parker. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Roughing It
Based on Mark Twain's 1872 autobiographical novel, this made-for-cable film is presented in flashback form, as aged humorist Mark Twain (James Garner) is invited to be keynote speaker at the Bryn Mawr graduation ceremonies of 1891. At first worried that his reputation as a verbal japester will embarrass his daughter Suzy, who is among the graduates, Twain elects to throw all caution to the winds by delivering an inspirational speech in which he recalls his own early days as a Missouri-bred greenhorn on the wild western frontier. Admitting that his recollections may stretch the truth a bit ("When I was younger, I could remember it, whether it happened or not"), Twain spins a tale of two brothers, Sam and Orion Clemens ("Sam Clemens" was of course, Twain's given name). Envious over the fact that Orion (Greg Spottiswood) has landed a job as secretary to the governor of Nevada Territory, young Sam Clemens (Robin Dunne) insists upon tagging along, thereby launching an extended adventure which would include a rugged interlude digging for gold under the baleful eye of a brutal foreman (Eric Roberts), a bone-chilling winter, and an episode involving a gang of outlaws headed by a man (Ned Beatty) so mean that he bit off the ears of his victims as a "calling card." Also in the cast are Jill Eikenberry as Twain's wife Livy and Adam Arkin as a wild-eyed "character" named Henry. Filmed in Calgary, the four-hour miniseries version of Mark Twain's Roughing It was presented by the Hallmark cable channel beginning March 16, 2002. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Big Trees
Ever since slipping into Public Domain, The Big Trees has become one of the most accessible and oft-televised of Kirk Douglas' pictures. Douglas plays an unscrupulous lumberjack who covets the land owned by a religious sect. All that's saving him from being the film's main villain is the fact that there's an even nastier contingent out to claim the sect's territory. His greed tempered by the love of pious Eve Miller, Douglas turns out to be a good guy after all in the film's climax. Watch for Alan Hale Jr. as "Tiny," doubling for his own father, who appears in long-shot in the stock footage. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Sam Elliott
    Sam Elliott
  • Jerry O'Connell
    Jerry O'Connell
  • Ricky Jay
    Ricky Jay
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