The Waltons’ John-Boy: Family or the law? (1974)

John-Boy, torn between family and the law

Caught between family ties and the law, John-Boy must put his life and his beliefs on the line in a special two-hour episode as the multi-award-winning series “The Waltons” returns for its third season on Thursday, Sept. 12 [1974] (7-9 pm) on the CBS Television Network. Beulah Bondi guest stars as an aged Walton trying to save her home.

In this season’s premiere episode, “The Conflict,” Grandpa agrees to take up arms against the Federal government and insists that John-Boy do the same when his sister-in-law, Martha Corinne Walton (Miss Bond), demands that Grandpa help the men in her family defend her home with rifles against the encroachment of a Federal highway.

When Grandpa insists on joining the fight, John sends John-Boy to keep an eye on him while he goes to a Government agency to protest. His mission fails, and meanwhile, as US marshals and bulldozers approach the modest home, Grandpa hands John-Boy a rifle and tells him either to prove he’s a real Walton or go home.

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“The Waltons,” the simple honest story of a large family living in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the depression, stars Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton, a country boy trying to become a writer; Ralph Waite and Michael Learned as his parents, John and Olivia; and Will Geer and Ellen Corby as Grandpa and Grandma Walton.

Also starring in the highly-acclaimed series, as John- Boy’s brothers and sisters, are Judy Norton as Mary Ellen; Jon Walmsley as Jason; Mary McDonough as Erin; Eric Scott as Ben; David Harper as Jim-Bob; and Kami Cotler as Elizabeth. Appearing in some episodes during the season will be Joe Conley as village store owner Ike Godsey, John Crawford as Sheriff Bridges, and Helen Kleeb and Mary Jackson as the Baldwin sisters, Mamie and Emily.

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The premiere episode, directed by Ralph Senensky from a script by Jeb Rosebrook, was filmed at the Burbank Studios and on location in Los Padres National Forest in California. Lee Rich is the executive producer, and Robert L Jacks is the producer for the series. Earl Hamner, creator of “The Waltons,” serves as executive story consultant. Morgan Woodward (left) guest stars with Will Geer on the premiere episode of “The Waltons.”

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