The Waltons

Season 4 Episode 3

The Fighter

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Sep 25, 1975 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A prize fighter from Richmond arrives searching for work, living and training in the Waltons' barn.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • The Call

    When John's new millhand turns out to be a prize fighter, tensions run high in the Walton household. Not for the first time, Olivia and Esther disapprove while the rest of the family hang off his every word, as does young Jody (Verdie's adopted son from 2x05).

    I really liked Olivia's anti-boxing stance. It was much more like the Olivia of old, and it made for some wonderful friction in the first part of the episode. It was slightly frustrating the way she forgot her objections the instant she found out James wanted to be a preacher, but I suppose that was a fairly decent twist in itself.

    The boxing match itself felt a little out of place, but I did like how the whole family stayed up to listen - even Esther. On the other hand, the extras who made up the crowd seemed to have been told to show no interest in the fight on any account. Interestingly, while both Ike Godsey and Zack Roswell appear at the ringside, only Zack appears in the credits.

    It's nice to see Verdie again. Just as before, she is all sweetness and light until she gets on her high horse about something (this time, James teaching Jody to fight). This is excellent continuity of character. I also liked the bloke playing James. He created a very convincing character, despite being given some less than believable lines.

    Faith has been a strong theme so far this season, with John-boy giving his sermon, then Lyle denouncing religion and now James wanting to build a church. Coincidence or intent? Probably too early to say.

  • Could have been something special but stilted writing and overacting deflated the significance of what was happening.

    The introduction of African Americans to Waltons Mountain is a welcome reprieve from the all white panorama of the show. Sadly dialogue gets in the way of character development. The character of James the boxer is compelling one but some of his dialogue sounds exactly like a writer penning a novel vs. an actual character. The focus on the episode is the evils of boxing and James and some of the situations are too campy. Parts of the episode get out of focus and the direction is terrible. James never has any nuiance and speaks like a preacher who never leaves the pulpit. It doesn't work. In short -- it was a great idea that was poorly executed and that happens. Too bad.moreless
Cleavon Little

Cleavon Little

James Travis Clark

Guest Star

Dave Shelley

Dave Shelley

Sam Mumford

Guest Star

Erin Blunt

Erin Blunt

Jody Foster

Guest Star

Lynn Hamilton

Lynn Hamilton

Verdie Foster

Recurring Role

James Gammon

James Gammon

Zack Rosswell

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Opening Narration: When I was growing up during the Great Depression, I often marveled at the road which connected us with the rest of the world, and which brought us friends and strangers. The road afforded us our isolation, and at the same time provided a link with the rapidly changing cities. Here on Walton's Mountain there was a 'Y' in the road, where a fateful decision was to be made by a new friend—a decision that was to involve the entire family.

    • Closing Narration: That Sunday and for several months to follow, this was the only church that James was to have. When a suitable replacement was found, James Trevis Clark insisted on moving on, for as much as he longed to be in the country, he returned to the streets from which he had fled. Working with youngsters, he was to live his religion on the playgrounds he established. Hundreds of boys and girls, both black and white, would turn to James Trevis Clark for leadership.

  • NOTES (1)