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Carrie Watts begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie, and pretentious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae. No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma, a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.


“The Trip to Bountiful” is one of Horton Foote’s finest works. When it was announced that Lifetime was staging an adaptation, I was floored. I know that younger generations didn’t get a chance to see Geraldine Page or Lillian Gish in the lead role, but this used to be a major American play. Carrie Watts was the kind of role that women of a certain age used to fight over. Now, it seems all but forgotten by the mainstream.

I’m glad that I didn’t have to listen to the usual claptrap about adapting a story for a cast of another race. If you were a casual viewer that happened to check this film out on Lifetime, you might not have even known that was the case. The timeless nature of the text and the presentation allows it to be a story shared by the elderly of all races and creeds. Dignity must remain in old age, that is what the film attempts to share. While Cicely Tyson has been nominated for an Emmy for her role here, I don’t believe she’ll win. She deserves it, but we don’t always get what we want.

The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is typical for a standard definition presentation. The transfer has small bits of noise, but that’s typical. The same goes for the Dolby Surround track. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 08/05/2014

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