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Robert Montgomery Presents: Harvest

USA 1953
produced by
Robert Montgomery for NBC
directed by James Sheldon
starring Dorothy Gish, Ed Begley, James Dean, Vaughn Taylor, John Connell, John Dennis, Reba Tassell, Joseph Foley, Nancy Sheridan, Mary Lou Taylor, Tommy Taylor, Frank Tweddell, Pidge Jameson, Peter Lazer, Robert Montgomery (presenter)
written by Sandra Mitchell

Robert Montgomery Presents

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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It's autumn, harvesting season, the season where farmers are supposed to reap in theri rewards for a year of work, but this year all of the crops of farmer Karl Zalinka (Ed Begley) are ruined in a single hailstorm. & as if that was not all, after his 2 other sons have already left him to make something of themselves in the big city, his youngest son Paul (James Dean) wants to leave the farm he was supposed to inherit too, as he has fallen in love with city girl Arlene (Reba Tassell). & then, only days before his 100th birthday, gramps (Vaughn Taylor) dies too.

Now Paul Zalinka is left all alone with his wife Ellen (Dorothy Gish), & while their financial problems are soon overcome by a loan from the bank, their lonliness is not.

Meanwhile young Paul has made it to the city & to Arlene's house, but there he has to find out she has already found another boyfriend, Kip (Tommy Taylor), & out of frustration Paul joins the Navy.

To help cheer up her husband, Ellen has invited all her kids for Thanksgiving though, & at that family reunion, Karl's middle son Chuck (John Connell) asks him if he could come back to the farm to help & maybe one day inherit it ... Karl couldn't be happier.


It's sort of an epic family story watered down to a mere 50-odd minutes, which means that most of the scenes are not exploited for their full dramatic potential, & many episodes are even linked by some off-screen narration - which doesn't really help to get the story going one bit. The story itself is of course very cheesy & highly predictable, & the underwhelming sugar coated happy ending doesn't really help either, as all the attempts at drama are washed away in one go. Stagey direction (as would be the rule in early television) also is not helping the show, but considering the sappy story & boring storytelling it doesn't hurt the show all that much.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD