New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsNew Television

Video clip of Great Frontier, The

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Great Frontier, The

See the record for "New Television, Episode 509 (1989)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

Copyright Date:

Copyright Holder:
Dan Boord and Greg Durbin

Boord, Dan
Durbin, Greg

Broadcast as Episode 509 of the 1989 season of "New Television."

See the record for "New Television, Episode 509 (1989)" for descriptions of videos containing this work.

"The Great Frontier" juxtaposes dramatizations of two stories. In the first, Tracy Barnes, host of the cable access show "Oklahoma Yesterdays," prepares for broadcast, having makeup applied and struggling to remember the name of her subject, Bill Jenkins. Jenkins was a local hero and somewhat mythological figure, who had been a train robber, a gubernatorial candidate, a filmmaker, and ultimately, a chicken farmer. When Tracy's show is underway, a feisty argument breaks out between her interviewees -- Bill Jenkins' nephew and fan Boomer Fuller, and Gina Rae Sloan, a local historian out to debunk the Bill Jenkins myth. After the broadcast, the cast and others gather for a party at the Barnes home. Tracy's husband congratulates her on the success of the show, assuring her that the fight made the show more interesting and hard-hitting. Eventually, Boomer and Gina Rae "bury the hatchet" at poolside. Tracy and a friend perform a singing duet that leaves Tracy berating her small-town existence and her inability to "make it" in a larger arena.

These scenes alternate with vignettes depicting the life of Bill Jenkins, ca. 1910. At this time, Jenkins was attempting to make "real westerns," films that refused to romanticize the details of western life. On the set of one such film, he expounds on this theory, embellishing his narrative with colorful details from his (suspect) life as an outlaw and robber. Cast and crew members are interviewed about his methods. Archival photographs and videotaped footage of the landscape are incorporated to evoke the Oklahoma surroundings. The script was written by Dan Boord and Greg Durbin, with additional dialogue by Hazel Leroy. The work is just under a half-hour in length.

Dianne Kahal performs a vocal rendition of a folk-style song at the opening of the work.

WNET, New York
Greater Columbus Arts Council

Parrish, Linda (Tracy Barnes)
Shadid, Marjie (Cindy)
Friedman, Scott (Boomer Fuller)
Ballard, Betsy (Gina Rae Sloan)
McIntyre, Pat (Bill Jenkins, Jim Burns)
Lategola, Tom (Bud Ledbetter, Desperado)
McCay, Cynthia (Floor Manager, Dugout Lady)
Edmond, Bill (Cameraman)
Elliot, Robert (Cowboy on Horse)
Polsgrove, Pete (Production Assistant)
Bland, David (Homesteader)
Wylie, Frank (Production Assistant, Cameraman)
Levy, Melanie Flynn (Production Assistant)
Menier, John (Voice of Producer, Line Producer)
Ray, Richard (Man Walking Horse)
Davis, Ron (Rancher)
Miller, Matt (Rancher)
Drisko, Tom (Rancher)

Television -- Production and direction
Motion pictures -- Production and direction


See Also:
New Television, Episode 509 (1989)

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