I had taped Spencer's Mountain many months ago, but have just now been able to sit down to watch it.
It's a pretty good movie. I tried to separate it from "The Waltons" and judge it on its own merits. As Kathie Lee posted, it is pretty faithful to the book.
I liked Henry Fonda as Clay Spencer. The guy who played Clay Boy looked slightly old for the part. However, in looking at pictures of young people from at least 60 years ago and before, a lot of times an 18 year old would look like a 30-something man would look today from doing so much outdoor work to just having a harder time with life.
Good to see Wally Cox. I knew him mainly as the voice in the cartoon Underdog, as well as his appearances on Hollywood Squares. Also Hayden Rorke, who was on I Dream of Jeannie.
Noticed that the girl who played Pattie Cake later played Gretl, the youngest child, in The Sound of Music (Kym Karath) - didn't see her name in the opening credits for Spencer's Mountain but that was definitely her.
For the standalone movies connected with the Waltons, I prefer The Homecoming, however. For one thing, it does show the children helping with chores - in Spencer's Mountain it seemed like Clay Boy was doing everything. And I preferred the grittier atmosphere in The Homecoming.
But both are definitely worth watching.
I prefer The Homecoming also. I like the cast better also. Even though it must have been a great honor for Earl Hamner to have such big named stars in Spencer's Mountain, I think the cast of The Homecoming did a better, more realistic job.
I know some people did not care for Patricia o'Neil as the mother but I think she did an outstanding job. She was so believable as the mother of all those children!
I love that movie! It is almost fall! Time to get The Homcoming out!
When I am home, I can't wait to go to the mountains. And when I get to the mountains, I find that I am home.