BRILLIANT FILM TO STOP IN OVER WEEKEND AND WATCH, IT'S A YOUNG WOMAN WHO FINDS OUT AFTER HER FATHERS DEATH SHE MAY HAVE A HALF SISTER. SO SHE SETS OUT TO FIND OUT IF THE WOMAN IN QUESTION IS HER HALF SISTER, SHE GOES TO SEE HER AND TELLS HER ABOUT HER FATHER AND SHE DISCOVERS THE WOMAN ALREADY KNEW BUT WAS TOO BUSY TO WORRY ABOUT IF HE WAS HER FATHER OR NOT. THEY GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER WELL AND FIND THEY END UP HELPPING ONE AND OTHER IN DIFFERENT WAYS. IT'S A VERY TOUCHING FILM A BIT OF A WEEPY BUT I ENJOYED IT WELL WORTH GIVING A GO.
Natalie Travers (Melissa Gilbert) is the solicitor daughter of Judge Charles Everett Travers, deceased. When her housekeeper Abygail Jordan (Nan Martin) gives her a box of papers left by her father, Natalie finds that her father was married before to a rodeo star, Maggie Mae Jarrett. Natalie decides to investigate this and tracks down a Jessie Mae Jarrett (Lindsay Wagner) in rodeo territory who claims to be Maggie Mae's daughter. Jessie has a close friend in vet Sam Nelson (Brian Wimmer) and has `adopted' a local girl Lulu (Lindy Newton) after her parents died. Lulu pumps gas at the local gas station but also helps Jessie Mae with the running of her farm. A local rancher Tom Grosvenor (Grainger Hines) leased land to Maggie Mae and is trying to force Jessie Mae to break the lease so that he can develop the land - on which horses roam free. Jessie has no water rights for the land so is fearful that she will not be able to care for the horses who belong there as their natural grazing land. Natalie uses her skill as a lawyer to threaten Tom and make him back off from Jessie. In the process she also falls for Sam. The story was written by J.P. Martin and it provides an engaging romantic drama on film - no car chases or gunfights but a most enjoyable family movie.
An enjoyable film but could've been so much better, it just leaves you with such a feeling of disappointment. Why the script writer couldn't just concentrate on the two main characters is puzzling as it is their growth and development that is the very heart of this film yet it is constantly shoved into the background to make way for a 'cowboy romance'! It seems to me that it is just too much for one film to handle, this really would've made a excellent TV series as every character (including 'the cowboy') are all excellently drawn and very interesting in their own right. The characterisation of the two women is wonderful as they have so many layers to them, as one has to learn to give, the other to receive, with the character of Lulu being the catalyst whose demand for freedom to do what she wants reminds the two women they themselves have never really been free but very much trapped by their past and upbringing. I really don't know Melissa Gilbert's work other than Little House but she gives a nice performance and works well beside Lindsay Wagner. I'm not sure what the Director was telling Lindsay but she nails some scenes beautifully and very naturally, yet others he seems to have sent her off into 'old lady grouch land' which means sometimes her character comes over much older than she really is and quite at odds with the more natural portrayal in other scenes. This is one of the few films Lindsay made during her extended break so she obviously saw something in it too, it's a nice film but I just wish it could've fulfilled its potential. Footnote - why isn't this available on R2?