Again Pioneers (November 2, 1950)
Released on November 2, 1950: (running time 68 minutes) A migrant family of pea pickers tries to begin life anew in friendly small town Fairview, but the town folk are determined to get rid of them.
Directed by William Beaudine
Written by Oviatt McConnell and Alan Shilin
The Actors: Colleen Townsend (Sallie Keeler), Tom Powers (Ken Keeler), Sarah Padden (Ma Ashby), Regis Toomey (Dave Harley), Jimmy Hunt (Nathaniel Ashby), Evelyn Brent (Alice Keeler), Larry Olsen (Kenny Keeler), Larry Carr (Malcolm Keeler), Erville Alderson (Pa Ashby), Peggy Wynne (Arla Ashby), Melinda Casey (Rebecca Ashby), Gene Roth (Monty Barnes), Judith Allen (Mrs. Barnes), Harry Cheshire (Colonel Garnett), Hart Wayne (Police Chief Bill Martin), Louis Mason (farmer reader), John Parlow (Matty Jans), Gertrude Astor (Mrs. Irma Jans), Russell Hicks (Pete Galloway), Raymond Bond (Doctor Miles), Bill Neff (minister), Connie Evans (Mrs. Brown), Frances Morris (Mrs. Lyons), Jerry Mickelsen (Trummy), Gary Pagett (Tom), Ralph Brooks (man at meeting), Bess Flowers (churchgoer), Marjorie Kane (church woman at the Patch), Hank Mann (man at meeting), Philo McCullough (man at meeting)
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America on the Move . . .
In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the winter of 1950-1951 was a really cold one. My mom had already given birth to 6 children, and the oldest was old enough to get married, but that very cold winter caused a lot of folk to cling tight trying to keep warm, and about nine months later I was born. My mom and dad were always much older than all the other kids’ parents . . . they were more like grandparents than parents in many ways.
One of the best things they did was to tell me stories of their youth, a time when the world was changing forever because of the Great Depression and World War II. I imagine that this is one of the reasons that I have a passion for motion pictures from that era. I often think that I was born about 50 years too late. I would have loved to live in those days . . . the days when men wore hats instead of ball caps . . . and the women wore very fancy hats.
Instead I grew up in the tumultuous 1960's and 1970's, when the young people like me were rebellious against everything the adults represented. We learned to trust no one over 30 years old . . . we learned that many times the right thing to do was the opposite of what the old folks told us to do. America was changing and evolving, and the old folks just couldn't keep up with the pace.
As an old man now looking back I realize that America has always been changing and evolving since the days of the pioneers. Indeed, even today Americans are not terribly different from the people in this 1950 motion picture. As I watched it for the first time I was struck with the similarities to life in America today. Sure, the faces are different, the situations are different, but the ideas that people have about what America and their town should be like is remarkably the same. The clothes from the 1950's are great to see . . . the cars are amazing to watch . . . the people are fun to experience . . . but if you change the cars and clothing you could be watching a slice of America today. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.
Colleen Townsend as Sallie Keeler, rebellious teen
Sarah Padden as Ma Ashby, vagrant in The Patch
The Ashby family in the dilapidated house
Colleen Townsend, Peggy Wynn and Sarah Padden
Erville Alderson as Pa Ashby, tries to fix his flat tire
Erville Alderson in Again Pioneers
Evelyn Brent, Colleen Townsend and Tom Powers in the kitchen
Evelyn Brent and Colleen Townsend
Evelyn Brent as Alice Keeler in Again Pioneers
Frances Morris as Mrs. Lyons
Gene Roth as Monty Barnes
Gene Roth chairs the town meeting
Harry Cheshire as Colonel Garnett at the town meeting
Hart Wayne as Police Chief Bill Marlin with Tom Powers
Jimmy Hunt and Erville Alderson
Jimmy Hunt and Larry Olsen
Jimmy Hunt is Nathaniel Ashby in Again Pioneers
John Parlow as Matty Jans
Larry Olsen and Tom Powers
Louis Mason as farmer Reader
Peggy Wynne as Arla Ashby
Raymond Bond and Harry Cheshire
Raymond Bond, as Doctor Miles, speaks at the town meeting
Regis Toomey as Dave Harley in Again Pioneers
Russell Hicks, Regis Toomey and Tom Powers
Tom Powers and Hart Wayne
Tom Powers as town lawyer Ken Keeler
Tom Powers drives to visit The Patch
Tom Powers at the town meeting in Again Pioneers