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Love's Unending Legacy - documentary DVD / family DVD review
LOVE'S UNENDING LEGACY Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Erin Cottrell, Dale Midkiff, Victor Browne, Samantha Smith, Holliston Coleman
Directors: Mark Griffiths   Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 4 December 2007   Runtime: 81 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (English, Dolby Surround), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Trailers

Full of strong women, which is somewhat unusual for this genre of stories, Love's Unending Legacy shares the story of Missie and her family living in the "old West." If one can take the drama-ridden angst and the overwhelming sweetness, it truly is a nice story - a good solid family tale, filled with challenges and morals and faith. Michael Landon, Jr., had a hand in these films, and while they are no Little House on the Prairie, they are carving their own niche in that genre.

In this fifth made-for-TV movie in the Love Comes Softly series, we follow up with Missie, whose husband was killed while carrying out his duties as sheriff in the last movie. She and her young son return home to her parents to build a new life among family. Back in familiar lands, she becomes the school teacher for this tiny town and opens her home to a young orphaned girl, Belinda. What Missie doesn't know is that Lindy has a young brother who was taken in by a mean and violent old farmer. With the help of this handsome new sheriff (Victor Browne), she is determined to rescue Jacob and bring him home to his sister.

With the exception of Marty, Missie's stepmother, everyone returns to reprise their roles from the previous movies. Marty was played by Katherine Heigl early in the series, but is now being portrayed by Samantha Smith. Dale Midkiff is Missy's father, and has done a surprisingly excellent job of being a strong, loving father figure. The only thing I had remembered him from was the creepy and controlling boyfriend in Love Potion #9 - I couldn't even place him, the roles were so different! Midkiff plays each character equally well and brings an aura of believability to the movies. Erin Cottrell is Missie LaHaye, and it is to be hoped that she isn't recast. There really can't be another Missie at this point.

The books by Janette Oke were very good, if more than a little simple; rich and wholesome. While the movies are mostly true to that, they've added much more drama than is really needed. Even with that, Love's Unending Legacy is a good family movie. And, as an aspiring eight-year-old reviewer put it: "These are the only "love" movies that I love." He finished the thought by saying simply that they make him feel happy and strong, and make want to be in love with a happy and strong woman.

Can't ask for much more than that in a movie.

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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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