The Long Road Home

  • 1991
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama, Western

A Texas family who lost everything during the Great Depression seeks to have a home of their own once again in this predictable drama. The Robertsons go from farm camp to farm camp, picking crops for a nickel per basket. Dad Ertie (Mark Harmon) is a former rodeo star, clearly degraded by migrant life, and unable to provide for his brood of eight. At El...read more

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A Texas family who lost everything during the Great Depression seeks to have a home of their own once again in this predictable drama.

The Robertsons go from farm camp to farm camp, picking crops for a nickel per basket. Dad Ertie (Mark Harmon) is a former rodeo star, clearly degraded by migrant life, and unable to provide for his brood of eight. At El Adobe the family is paid in brass coins, which they can only use at the camp.

Ertie demands cash and is promptly fired. "They ain't lettin' me work nor be a man," he laments. He is unable to save the life of the youngest Robertson girl, who dies of diphtheria.

The Robertsons' suffering contrasts with the greedy pleasure that Depression entrepreneur Titus Wardlow (Leon Russom) enjoys as he keeps the unorganized farm workers down. Hope for the family seems embodied by Bessie (Lee Purcell), Ertie's wife, determined to finding a permanent home. They find a

place that's little more than a shack, and is still more than the Robertsons can afford. At a union-friendly farm camp, Ertie's target-shooting wins a little money to put towards the house.

Meanwhile, union activists rise up in protest when one of their men is shot in the back by Wardlow. Ertie's teenaged son Jake (Morgan Weisser) wants to join the union, against his cowed father's wishes. To thwart the labor movement, Titus arrives with a doctor and nurse to uncover health

violations as an excuse to torch the workers' tents. The experts judge the camp up to code, but Titus sets fire to it anyway. This sends Ertie over the edge. He fights with Titus who nearly kills him. Jake saves his father's life by shooting Titus dead. Ultimately, the Robertsons move into their

own home and finally sit down under one roof to eat a real dinner together.

Though based on a book by Ronald B. Taylor, this comes across like a Cliff's Notes version of John Ford's adaptation of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. It fails to provide any characters real enough to care about, just morsels about Ertie's bronc-bustin' days and his attachment to his gun--but no

meat, nothing of depth. Mark Harmon gives a whiny performance that only engages when he is suddenly motivated enough to take action. THE LONG ROAD HOME was made for cable TV in 1991 and was released on video in 1996.

(Violence.)

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  • Released: 1991
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A Texas family who lost everything during the Great Depression seeks to have a home of their own once again in this predictable drama. The Robertsons go from farm camp to farm camp, picking crops for a nickel per basket. Dad Ertie (Mark Harmon) is a forme… (more)

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