I don't know when I have watched a movie that I enjoyed so much.
It's true - this is about as nice as it ever gets with a movie. There are no villains, no violence (except when animals had to be destroyed in a fire...and that wasn't pictured), and just a nice story of a nice Norwegian family living in rural Wisconsin.
While today's movies focus on action, violence, and sex, this movie focuses on real life situations and how they affect a small town Midwest family. Edward G. Robinson plays a role that you've never seen him play before, a loving hard-working father. Margaret O'Brien steals the show, though. Simply put, she is the cutest and sweetest character I have ever seen in a movie. There are a few times when Selma (her character) has a moment of selfishness, but she quickly realizes her error and repents. Meanwhile, she makes sweet and innocent remarks throughout the film, and her unselfish action at the end made me cry. *Yes, I cried, what of it?!*
Overall, there are several lovable characters in this film. As the teacher says at the end, you 'fall in love with the whole town.'
It's about how parents teach their children and shape their lives, and about how children, for good or ill, learn lessons in life from their parents. Simply filmed, beautifully performed, and memorable from start to finish, it is a movie that should have wider recognition. An excellent family film that both parents and children will enjoy.
*Warning--if you do not like sentimental, heartwarming, and wholesome films you will not like this!