A Walton Wedding

(February 12, 1995)

(number 5, post-season movie)


Starring:  Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton, Mary Beth McDonough, Eric Scott, David Harper, Kami Cotler, Joe Conley, Ronnie Clair Edwards.


Special Appearances: Grandma Walton (Ellen Corby) and Aunt Flo (Holland Taylor).


Music: John Rubinstein, Producer: Sam Manners.


Executive Producers: Earl Hamner, Lee Rich, & Rich Heller.


Written by: Claire Whitaker & Rod Peterson, Directed by: Robert Ellis Miller.


Setting: 1964.


In New York City, John-Boy is busy writing when Janet rings his apartment’s buzzer. She brings corned beef on rye with potato salad and says that her Aunt Flo has invited them tomorrow for tea. Janet is hurried with a deadline, but changes her mind when John-Boy proposes marriage. She says, “Yes”, and they kiss.


At Ike’s store, Corabeth is typing at the typewriter while Ike is punching at the cash register. When Miss Mamie and Miss Emily arrive Corabeth announce that she is writing a romance novel after sending away for a correspondence course. The sisters are in need of “oodles” of sugar and yeast for a batch of the Recipe in preparation for John-Boy’s wedding. They are personally transporting the Recipe to New York City. They leave quickly after Corabeth reads a steamy passage from her manuscript.


John brings coffee to Ben and Drew who have been working since the crack of dawn. But when Ben tells his father that they contracted for the Madison Development subdivision in Jefferson County, John isn’t sure they can handle the order, and is now on a limb because, being on the Board of Supervisors, he must vote to approve or reject.


Aunt Flo meets John-Boy, offering to make suggestions for the marriage. She also admits that Janet’s parents may not be able to attend since they are in a country with civil unrest. When Janet tells Aunt Flo that they are planning for a small wedding, Aunt Flo recommends they make the wedding sophisticated and use St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral. John-Boy says that the World Series could be played inside.


John-Boy shows an article to his editor, Sybil Caruthers, about Grandma’s struggle with her stroke. Caruthers likes the article, but feels it doesn’t have enough depth. She recommends that he return to his grandmother to find more background. That night John-Boy knocks on Janet’s apartment for dinner. But Janet is upset at Aunt Flo for taking control of her wedding. As they kiss, Aunt Flo barges in to make another suggestion. John-Boy finally has enough of her butting in, and decides to return to the Mountain.


At the house, Olivia makes supper while reading Betty Fredans’s book The Feminine Mystique. John arrives home from a meeting to find his wife totally engrossed in the book. She wants to go back to school, feeling a need to know herself better. The next day, Mary Ellen, Erin, Elizabeth, and Toni laugh about a joke. Toni is nine months pregnant, having chosen the name of Patsy Cline for a girl and Elvis for a boy. Olivia walks in to announce that she has signed up for a class at Boatwright named American Studies.


Aunt Flo and her wedding arranger, David Drucker, talk with Janet about the possibility of using a Virginia Fox Hunt theme at the reception. When David says he doesn’t do mountain moonshine, Janet says two old ladies will take care of that. But, Janet doesn’t like their ideas.


At Boatwright, Olivia wonders where her class is located when another coed approaches. When Olivia says she is a student, not a teacher, the girl says she looks like an old mother, not a regular student. After walking away, Olivia calls her a “little twit”. Professor Tumball asks Olivia to stay after class. When he wonders why she signed up, Olivia answers that she desires to learn more about the U.S., along with earning her degree. He says older students generally are unreliable and fail or drop out. Olivia states she cannot tolerate human ignorance. Back home Olivia finds John-Boy has returned home. They talk about her class and why he returned home. Later, the family reminisces about Grandma becoming a celebrity in John-Boy’s article. They remember the time Grandpa was thrown out of the hospital during Grandma’s stroke and the time Grandma found a jar of the recipe in Grandpa’s toolbox. Jason and Ben sing, “Grandma’s a cover girl on a big-time magazine!” In a quieter moment John recommends that John-Boy try writing at a cabin near Druscilla’s Pond. John-Boy wonders why he can’t find any reference to Grandma’s daddy in the family Bible. John says that he should not stir up that subject with Grandma.


Olivia sits at the supper table reading her schoolbook, while John worries about bills, especially the cost of the wedding that could cost a thousand dollars. He also is worried about his vote on the subdivision, if he votes “yes” he will look like he is “feathering his own nest” and if he votes “no” he will lose a lot of money. Later John-Boy asks his father to be best man, not wanting to play favorites among his brothers.


In New York City, Aunt Flo and David anxiously tell Janet about their new idea, a square dance at the Waldorf. Janet hates it, and decides to regain control. At Ike’s store Corabeth asks John-Boy if he would read a chapter from her manuscript. He delays her, already anxious about his project. At Boatwright, Olivia is asked to comment about a poem etched on the Statute of Liberty. Olivia says that she feels it contains a meaning of hope for immigrants, like a mother offering shelter, love, and a place to dream.


Ike and other concerned citizens opposing the proposed subdivision present a petition to John. He agrees to serious consider their suggestion. Knowing that fifty single-family homes and twenty-five duplexes will be built at the base of Pine Top Mountain, John asks Grandma her advice, but she is unsure. After being unable to find information at the courthouse and the library about Grandma’s father, John-Boy confronts Grandma. She leaves the room. Unexpectedly Janet appears at the front door, after taking a leave of absence from work and firing Aunt Flo.


Corabeth visits John-Boy at the cabin in order that he review her unfinished draft. The novel is called “Romance on the High Seas”. When she reads from it, John-boy makes her stop after a few sentences. He confesses that it is not good and advises her to write something that is familiar to her. At Bonnie Sue’s Boutique, Mary Ellen, Erin, Elizabeth, and Janet look for wedding dresses. Without success they decide to make the dresses themselves. Ike finds Corabeth returning her correspondence literature, wanting her money back. She has decided to take John-Boy’s advice, and write a novel entitled “The Storekeeper’s Wife”. She believes a very romantic story can be written. Ike likes the idea.


Unable to write, John-Boy helps his father. John says that rumors are circulating about him being a crook. John-Boy can’t believe it, but John says it involves “politics”. Professor Tumball asks Olivia about the topic for her presentation. Olivia wants to write about the status of women in America. When the professor hesitates about its appropriateness, Olivia insists that women face difficulty achieving in today’s society. At the Baldwin house John-Boy talks with Miss Emily while Miss Mamie finds their Papa’s old letters. John-Boy hopes to find information about Grandma’s father. Later, inside the Baptist Church John-Boy and Janet talk about their wedding and children. As an only child, Janet is unsure about having children.


Late at night John and Olivia talk about whether John-Boy and Janet are suited for each other. John thinks Janet is a “thoroughbred”. Suddenly a loud car drives up with Aunt Flo inside. As Janet and Aunt Flo talk, John hauls her luggage inside. The next morning John brings John-Boy biscuits that Janet made. When John tells his son that Aunt Flo has arrived, John-Boy exclaims, “Will that woman ever give up?” After reviewing John-Boy’s article John says he thinks the story shows Grandma with “rose-colored glasses” and leaves out the “vinegar”. Later, John confronts Grandma, telling her that he found that her father fought for the union forces, being called a traitor by the community. Grandma declares, “Dammit, Dammit!” John-Boy states he will write the truth, with Grandma upset at the news.


In the morning John shows Ben a newspaper article about the Walton & Son’s deal with Madison Developer. John says his integrity is at stake, along with the integrity of their business. Ben and Drew feel terrible about the mess they made for John. John-Boy and Janet argue about Aunt Flo making arrangements for them to spend their honeymoon in Bermuda. Olivia drives up to hear their fight. The couple decides to call off the wedding. John walks off, as Olivia runs after a crying Janet.


At the Board meeting John is asked to talk about his possible conflict-of-interest. Ben speaks up first, saying he was the one that made the deal before knowing his father would vote on the proposal. With two supervisors against and two for the proposal, John says that there is unemployment in the area, but at the same time feels the quality of land, water and air must be maintained. He votes against the proposal, but admits he will reconsider if the company brings a new proposal that doesn’t hurt the environment.


John-Boy finds Aunt Flo staring off into the night. She admits she has caused distress, but only acted out of love. John-Boy tells her that she can’t leave, because she is family and Janet’s matron-of-honor. John-Boy then tells Janet that he is sorry for yelling at her, while Janet admits she needs to learn to stand up to him. John-Boy agrees to go to Bermuda, if they can spend the first night at the cabin on Druscilla’s Pond.


While sewing a quilt Olivia states that Grandma will not attend the wedding. Janet answers a telephone call where her father says they will arrive in Charlottesville tomorrow night. Later, John and Olivia wait for John-Boy and Janet to bring the new in-laws to the house when a telephone call informs them that the foursome is in jail. John-Boy explains he was driving too fast and called Deputy Neely ‘stupid’. Nothing helps until the officer is told John-Boy and Janet are to be married. Later on the front porch Ralph wonders if Janet will be happy with this “salt-of-the-earth, fertile, poor, but honest” clan that seem to number in the thousands. Janet says she is happy. Ralph and Charlotte announce they are retiring to Iowa. Upstairs John and Olivia talk about the possibility of taking a second honeymoon, possibly to Bermuda. But John wants to know “What is a bermuda?” and “Where is it?” On the seesaw John-Boy and Janet talk about their last night as single persons. The next morning, John and Olivia awaken to Aunt Flo supervising the work crew as they construct the bandstand and organize the party. Ralph and Charlotte join them, as they look at Aunt Flo in awe. Later in the day, Janet, Charlotte, Mary Ellen, Erin, and Elizabeth dress for the wedding. John-Boy finds Grandma in the living room, telling her that she is just as stubborn as her father and husband. He hopes she will reconsider her decision on the most important day in his life.


As John helps John-Boy with his tie they see Olivia come down the stairs, and voice their admiration of her beauty. Olivia says to John Jr., “You’ve turned out real good!” John-Boy responds, “I love you, Momma!” Grandma takes John-Boy’s arm as they go to the church. Inside the church, Jim Bob ushers his mother to her seat as the Baldwin sisters look on. Grandma sits next to Drew, as Ben brings in Charlotte. With Mary Ellen, Erin, and Elizabeth as brides’ maids, Aunt Flo as maid-of-honor, and John as best man, Ralph walks his daughter down the aisle as the wedding begins. As Jason plays the organ, the first song O Promise Me is sung, and with Ike and Corabeth looking on, Toni has her first contraction. Olivia rushes her to the next room as Mary Ellen follows. As the song ends, Jason runs to his wife. Rev. Mosely proceeds with the wedding as cries are heard from Toni. As John-Boy and Janet are pronounced husband and wife, Olivia announces that it’s “Patsy Cline Walton”. John-Boy tells the guests, “It’s a girl!” and they applaud. Rev. Mosely presents “Mr. and Mrs. John Walton, Jr.” to the guests. At the reception everyone dance and celebrate. John makes a toast, “To the bride and groom, may they be as happy together as my bride and I have been all these years, and to Charlotte and Ralph who made all this possible, and to Aunt Flo who does the impossible.” Janet throws the bouquet that is caught by Jim Bob who quickly hands it to Elizabeth. John-Boy says goodnight to Grandma and the Baldwin sisters as everyone follow John-Boy and Janet to Druscilla’s Pond. As they row across the waters, goodnights are said to the newlywed couple.



John-Boy and Janet first met at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City.

Janet’s father is in the diplomatic corp., representing the United States in a small African country.

First published in 1963, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan launched a woman’s equal-rights revolution that profoundly changed the culture, consciousness, and lives within the United States.

Grandma’s maiden name is Morgan.

The names of Janet’s parents are Ralph and Charlotte Gilchrist.

The house that the Gilchrist retire to in Iowa on East River Drive is in ‘real-life’ the home that was once owned by Earl Hamner’s wife (Jane). The house on 1206 East River Drive in Davenport, Iowa is now the Fulton’s Landing Bed and Breakfast.

As in the previous movie A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion, Peter Fox plays Rev. Mosely. But beginning with The Hawk (season six, episode one), Peter Fox played Rev. Hank Buchanan.


Also appearing:

Toni Hazelton Walton (Lisa Harrison), Janet Gilchrist (Kate McNeil), Charlotte Gilchrist (Diane Baker), Ralph Gilchrist (Nicholas Pryor), Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin (Helen Kleeb and Mary Jackson), Drew Cutler (Tony Becker), Professor Trumball (Roy Brocksmith), David Drucker (Marshall Borden), Sybil Carruthers (Deborah Way), Deputy Sheriff Neely (James Lashly), Reverend Mosely (Peter Fox), Chairman (Milt Tarver), Girl Student (Rachel True).