VIDEO Mayflower: The Pilgrims’ Adventure

Jan 28, 2013

This 1979 feature is one of the rare attempts to dramatize a chapter of America’s formation. Set in 1620, the story concerns the religious persecution of the Puritans in England and their decision to emigrate to Plymouth Colony in America. This is a fairly sturdy and enjoyable piece of historical drama, with the most important details about who, what, where, and why informatively answered. Richard Crenna is fine as the Reverend William Brewster, one of the Pilgrim Fathers and a veteran of relocating religious minorities to more hospitable places. David Dukes is effective as Miles Standish, giving us some insight into how this military man came to be an essential part of the Plymouth community.

Originally titled The Voyage of the Mayflower, this made-for-TV historical drama was, not surprisingly, first telecast as a Thanksgiving special. In the tradition of the 1952 theatrical feature Plymouth Adventure, the film meticulously recount[s] the journey of 103 Pilgrim “separatists” from their religiously restrictive English homeland to the shores of the New World. The dramatic crux of the film [is] manifested in the conflict between mercenary, untrustworthy Mayflower captain Christopher Jones (Anthony Hopkins) and idealistic but tough Pilgrim leader William Brewster (Richard Crenna). Also incorporated in the narrative are the intertwining relationships between Miles and Rose Standish (David Dukes, Trish Van Devere), John Alden (Michael Beck), and Priscilla Mullens (Jenny Agutter). The film is recommended by the National Education Association (NEA).

I’ve recently learned that I’m descended from William Brewster (who wrote “Of Plymouth Plantation”) the second governor of the colony and a Mayflower passenger, so it’s with more than pride & gratitude that this is uploaded.

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