Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (CBS) 2000-02

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't just write "The Little House On The Prairie"... she lived it.

 

Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, two television movies produced by Marcus Cole and aired in 2000 and 2002, presented episodes from the later books in the Little House series (from The Long Winter to The First Four Years).

The series starred Richard Thomas as Charles Ingalls; Lindsay Crouse as Caroline Ingalls; Meredith Monroe as Laura Ingalls; Barbara Jane Reams as Mary Ingalls; Haley McCormick as Carrie Ingalls; Walt Goggins as Almanzo Wilder; and Skye McCole Bartusiak as Rose Wilder.

 

Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Release Date: January 2, 2000 (CBS)

 

Review written by Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

Four of the autobiographical novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder served as the basic source material for this made-for-TV movie. Covering some of the same ground as the Wilder-inspired TV series Little House on the Prairie, the film stars Meredith Monroe as 19th-century teenager Laura Ingalls, who at the beginning of the story is still living on her South Dakota family farm
with her father (Richard Thomas), mother (Lindsay Crouse), and three siblings. Acknowledging her dad's insistence that she has "the wandering strain," Laura yearns for life beyond the prairie, but is obliged to accept a nearby school teaching position to help support her loved ones. After her marriage to homesteader Almanzo Wilder (Walt Goggins), Laura endures the
usual trials and tribulations of life as a farmer's wife, further complicated by the loss of her first child and a raging diphtheria epidemic. Yet, somehow, Laura and Almanzo survive their many ordeals with renewed hope for the future. Tess Harper, cast as the "older" Laura, narrates the story. Originally broadcast by CBS on January 2, 2000, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder was followed by a TV-movie sequel over two years later, on the same network (CBS).

 

(Image courtesy of Tracy Pfau)

 

Did You Know?

 

In 2000, This film was nominated at the Emmys for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. Ernest Troost performed the music for both movies.

 

Main Cast

 

Meredith Monroe .... Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder
Konstantin Selivanov .... Mikhail
Walton Goggins .... Almanzo Wilder (as Walt Goggins)
Skye McCole Bartusiak .... Rose Wilder
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Bartee .... Farmer
Michelle Bevan .... Young Laura
Lindsay Crouse
Thomas Ian Griffith .... Cornelius Loudermilk
Tess Harper .... Laura (voice)
Heather Kafka .... Beth Magnuson
Cody Linley .... Charlie Magnuson
Darrell K. McAlexander .... Horseman
Marc Menchaca .... Store Clerk
Emma Nicolas .... Russian Girl

Tracy Pfau ... Mrs. Bouchie
Marco Perella .... Grady
Chelsea Ricketts .... Sarah
Charles Sanders .... Professor Kaye
Alexandra Smith .... Young Mary
Joe Stevens .... George Magnuson
Christina Stojanovich .... Rose at 14
Melanie Stovall .... Young Missouri Woman
Richard Thomas .... Charles Ingalls
Mark Voges .... Backtracker
Chris Warner .... Arthur

Click here for a complete cast and crew listing

 

Beyond the Prairie II: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder Continues

 

Release Date: March 17, 2002 (CBS)

 

In this new television movie, Laura and Almanzo Wilder leave their home in South Dakota to seek a better life in Missouri with their daughter, Rose. It's a difficult journey, but their determination to create a new existence keeps them going. Laura documents their daily life in her letters home to her parents, Charles and Caroline Ingalls, and, late at night, writes the rich and textured stories she will eventually have published.

Once they arrive in the small town of Mansfield, the Wilders find a rundown farm house on a parcel of land and use their last $100 to make a down payment. They plan to sell firewood, plant apple trees and split the demanding work between them. But Almanzo, physically weak from an earlier illness, is unable to keep up and considers moving back to South Dakota in defeat. Laura vetoes that idea and hires Cornelius Loudermilk - an emotionally damaged local man who lost his home and family to fire - to help them.

Meanwhile, Rose is challenged at school where she is picked on unmercifully by the local children who don't accept outsiders. However, she ultimately discovers her own unique talent and, inspired by her mother, decides that she, too, will become a writer. Bolstered by their enduring love and commitment to one another, this beloved frontier family ultimately thrives.

 

Did You Know?

 

With the success, and high ratings of the first film CBS decided to do another movie taking place where the first one left off. The second film was shot at Austin, Texas.

 

The young girl who plays Rose, Skye McCole Bartusiak is also the same person who played Missie Davis in Michael Landon, Jr's Love Comes Softly based on a series of books by Janette Oke.

 

Main Cast

 

Meredith Monroe .... Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder 
Konstantin Selivanov .... Mikhail
Walton Goggins .... Almanzo Wilder (as Walt Goggins)
Skye McCole Bartusiak .... Rose Wilder
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Johnny Bartee .... Farmer
Michelle Bevan .... Young Laura
Lindsay Crouse
Thomas Ian Griffith .... Cornelius Loudermilk
Tess Harper .... Laura (voice)
Heather Kafka .... Beth Magnuson
Cody Linley .... Charlie Magnuson
Darrell K. McAlexander .... Horseman
Marc Menchaca .... Store Clerk
Emma Nicolas .... Russian Girl
Marco Perella .... Grady
Chelsea Ricketts .... Sarah
Charles Sanders .... Professor Kaye
Alexandra Smith .... Young Mary
Joe Stevens .... George Magnuson
Christina Stojanovich .... Rose at 14
Melanie Stovall .... Young Missouri Woman
Richard Thomas .... Charles Ingalls
Mark Voges .... Backtracker
Chris Warner .... Arthur

Click here for a complete cast and crew listing

 

Articles

: Houston Chronicle- Popular 'Prairie' Saga Continues (PDF)

 

Pictures from the CBS Press kit

 

(All Photos on this page copyright Robert Voets/CBS 2001 CBS Worldwide Inc.)

 

 

Related Links

 

: Meredith Monroe - Official Web site (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

: Skye McCole Bartusiak - Official Web site (Rose Wilder)

 

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