Best movies and TV shows set on farms and ranches
Has it really been five decades?! To mark the 50th anniversary of the final episode of “Green Acres” — the CBS sitcom that ran from 1965 to 1971 and followed an affluent couple from New York City, banker Oliver Wendell Douglas (played by Eddie Albert) and his glamorous wife Lisa (played by Eva Gabor), after they moved to a farm in the country — Wonderwall.com is taking a look at the best films and television shows set on farms and ranches! Keep reading for more…
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2021’s “Minari” starring Steven Yeun — who earned his first Academy Award nomination for best actor for his work in the film — tells the story of a Korean immigrant family in pursuit of the American Dream. Having relocated from California to a rural farm in Arkansas, the Yi family valiantly attempts to acclimate to their new environment and make a living harvesting and selling Korean vegetables — though they are soon faced with obstacles that threaten their livelihood and their marriage.
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Set in 1949 and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, 2000’s “All the Pretty Horses” stars Matt Damon as John Grady Cole, a young man who adopts a cowboy lifestyle and embarks on a journey to find himself after his mother sells the ranch where he grew up.
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“Places in the Heart,” which is set in Texas in 1935, stars Sally Field as Edna Spaulding, a widow who experiences immense difficulty as she struggles to manage life as a single parent — from raising two children on her own to tending to their family farm. Sally earned an Academy Award nomination for best actress for her performance in the drama.
The iconic nighttime soap opera “Dallas” chronicles the lives of the Texas-based Ewings, a prominent family with cattle-ranching and oil businesses. The series explores the interpersonal drama between the feuding Ewing and Barnes families as well as the seedy and calculated extremes to which J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman, pictured) would go for the sake of his company. With 357 episodes, “Dallas” is one of American television’s longest running one-hour primetime television shows. It spawned a reboot that aired from 2012 to 2014.
ABC’s short-lived sitcom “Bless This Mess” starring Dax Shepard and Lake Bell as Mike and Rio tells the story of a recently married couple who make the decision to forego their fast-paced New York City lifestyle in favor of a low-key existence in a small Nebraskan town as farmers. However, upon leaving the big city behind, they soon begin to realize that smaller doesn’t necessarily mean simpler.
What happens when you loathe your life of monotony? You do everything in your power to leave it behind! 2000’s “Chicken Run” tells the story of a group of chickens who — after meeting an eccentric rooster who takes it upon himself to teach the others how to fly — attempt to flee from their lives laying eggs at a farm. The necessity to leave is intensified when a machine that exclusively makes chicken pies is installed!
Based on the 1952 novel by E.B. White of the same name, 2006’s “Charlotte Web” tells the story of a spider — voiced by Julia Roberts — who, after finding out that a pig’s life is on the line, devises an intricate plan to save him. The fantasy flick also consists of a star-studded ensemble cast that includes the voices of Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Andre 3000, Reba McEntire and Kathy Bates. Dakota Fanning (pictured) also stars in the heartwarming feature.
In 2012’s “At Any Price,” Zac Efron plays Dean Whipple, the indignant and rebellious son of an Iowa seed farmer who aspires to leave the family business behind. The career he wants to pursue instead? Race car driving. Kim Dickens, Heather Graham and Clancy Brown also star in the Ramin Bahrani-directed drama.
1995’s “Babe” tells the story of nurturing farmer Arthur Hoggett (portrayed by James Cromwell) who acquires a piglet by the name of Babe at a local fair. With the help of his caretaker, Babe comes to learn how to herd sheep but has trouble fitting in due to his inability to conform to the farm’s social order.
“Yellowstone” — which stars Emmy- and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner — follows Jon Dutton, the patriarch of a long-running family-owned ranch. Throughout the Paramount Network series, we pay witness to the complexities of operating in a world in which honor isn’t always upheld — from seedy business dealings and compromised politicians to unresolved deaths and familial conflict.
On “Smallville,” which ran from 2001 to 2011, Tom Welling stars as a young Clark Kent who is forced to come to terms with his superpower abilities, all while coming of age on his adoptive parents’ Kansas farm, which has been in the family for generations. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, kryptonite is found throughout Smallville — which (as we know!) incapacitates young Superman.
1947’s “The Egg and I” is another story that tracks a couple’s decision to leave behind big city living. Fred MacMurray stars as Bob MacDonald, a World War II veteran who decides to surprise his wife, Betty (Claudette Colbert), by relocating to a rundown farm. Betty has difficulty acclimating, but matters are made worse when an attractive farmer (Louise Allbritton) takes a romantic interest in Bob.
1998’s “The Horse Whisperer” stars Scarlett Johansson as Grace, a teenager who struggles to move on after suffering a traumatic accident that also injures her beloved horse. When her mother, Annie (Kristin Scott Thomas), realizes that Grace will only heal if the horse does as well, she enlists the help of Tom Booker (Robert Redford), a “horse whisperer” who aids in her efforts. Annie, however, begins to reevaluate her own life in the process.
A true classic. “Little House on the Prairie” — which is based on the book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder — revolves around the Ingalls clan, who inhabit a farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s. The historical drama debuted on NBC in 1974 and went on to run for nine seasons until 1983. Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Karen Grassle and Melissa Sue Anderson star in the beloved Western family drama.
1982’s “The Man from Snowy River” stars Tom Burlinson as Jim Craig, a young man who forges a relationship with horse rancher Harrison (Kirk Douglas) after his father’s untimely death. As he struggles to earn acceptance from the other cowboys, he takes a romantic interest in Harrison’s daughter, Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), after rescuing her. The film spawned a sequel, “The Man from Snowy River II,” which was released in 1988.
In 1979’s “Heartland,” Elinore Randall (Conchata Ferrell) is a resilient widow, who, along with daughter Jerrine (Megan Folsom), relocates to Montana at the start of the 20th century when she finds work caring for the home of an impassive rancher, Clyde Stewart (Rip Torn). As time elapses and their relationship deepens, Elinore and Clyde begin to forge a special bond that strengthens with every challenge they face.
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