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Sarah, Plain and Tall

Drama / Romance
1990 / 98 minutes
Rating: 8/10

In 1910, Jacob Witting, a Kansas farmer and widower, places a newspaper ad asking for a woman interested “in making a difference” in the lives of his two small children, Anna and Caleb. Sarah Wheaton responds to his ad and agrees to a one-month visit. She brings with her a cat, a collection of seashells and a streak of stubbornness that is the young widower’s match.

When Sarah arrives she quickly learns that while Jacob’s wife Katherine died six years ago, he is still grieving. He’s packed away all his wife’s pictures, and blankets, and anything else that reminds him of her. And he hasn’t sung since her death.

But little Caleb loves to sing and Sarah does too. Anna isn’t as quick to warm up to her, but when Sarah arranges to have Katherine’s pictures hung back up, she starts to win the little girl over too. Sarah’s love for the two children, and her better understanding of what they need pits her against their father, so when the month is done, will Jacob even want her to stay? Or will he start to love her as his equal… and his match?


No real cautions to offer. This does deal with the topic of losing a mother, and the children worry that they might lose Sarah at month’s end, so there is some tension here that younger viewers might find harder to deal with. Especially when the neighbor goes into labor early and the delivery is not an easy one.

But it comes to a beautiful resolution. This is very much a film for the whole family.


This is based on the book by Patricia MacLachlan which won the 1986 Newbery Medal for best American children’s book of the year. It’s a loyal rendition, as the screenplay was written by MacLachlan too, and I think it’s one of those rare times where the film really does equal the book.

It’s a wonderful quaint, quiet, and beautiful flick, sure to bring a tear to your eye. That means some boys might have a bit of trouble sitting through it during the early going, and maybe it just isn’t for them. But if they can be settled, with their own bowl of popcorn perhaps, then I can’t imagine a lovelier film for a family movie night.


"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.


Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.


Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church


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