Appalachian Autumn

1969 television film
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Appalachian Autumn is a television play broadcast as part of the CBS Playhouse series. It is a drama about the poverty of the fictional coal mining town of Harper's Gap in West Virginia, and the attempts of a VISTA worker to assist the people of the town. Appalachian Autumn was broadcast in October 1969, and received technical Emmy awards for lighting. Reviews of the teleplay were mixed, with Rick Du Brow in the Lexington, NC Dispatch calling the teleplay "still worth tuning in" in spite of CBS Playhouse "being on its soapbox." New York Times critic Jack Gould noted the teleplay was "not the pillar of dramatic success; nor is it immune to dramatic excess," but praised the broadcast on how it "comes to grips with an issue such as the reality of poor whites in Appalachia." Writer Earl Hamner, Jr. would later use this play as the framework for his award-winning television series The Waltons. Actor Phillip Alford, a child during the filming, recounted his experience filming Appalachian Autumn in the book Growing Up on the Set, noting that one scene resulted in his getting a concussion.
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