One in this series of dramas presented by Hallmark. Based on the book by Patricia MacLachlan, this drama concerns the romance between a woman from Maine and the Kansas farmer who seeks a maternal figure for his family.

In 1910, independent New Englander Sarah Wheaton answers a newspaper ad from Kansas farmer Jacob Witting, a widower who is searching for someone to watch and nuture his two young children. Sarah agrees to leave her home in Maine and move to Kansas to live with the Wittings for a one-month trial period.

As soon as Sarah arrives on the farm, six-year-old Caleb takes an instant liking to her. However, his nine-year-old sister Anna has vivid memories of her mother and finds Sarah disruptive in her life. Worse, Jacob immediately bucks Sarah as she tries to take an active role in the household, calling her stubborn and set in her ways.

Gradually, Sarah adjusts to life on the prairie in Jacob's small house. She slowly makes headway with Anna, while Caleb is thrilled by all of her efforts. Meanwhile, Sarah forces Jacob to stop shutting out all memories of Katherine, his beloved wife and the children's mother, who died six years ago after giving birth to Caleb.

Jacob begins to realize that he may have feelings for Sarah when Jess Stearns, a local handyman, starts to court her during a church-sponsored picnic. As a result, Jacob gives in to Sarah's desire to learn to do chores in the field, drive the buggy and decorate the house.

The Wittings' nearest neighbors, Matthew Grant and his pregnant wife Maggie, befriend Sarah. Later, Sarah confides to Maggie that she has had a hard time competing with Katherine's spirit. During a fierce storm, tensions rise within the household and Sarah says she wishes that she'd never left Maine. The next day, Sarah tries to assist Jacob with storm-related repairs, but realizes that he can't accept her help.

As Sarah leans toward leaving, Anna tearfully begs her to stay. When Maggie delivers her baby prematurely, Sarah assists at the birth. Witnessing the event brings back painful memories for Jacob, which Sarah helps him to understand. Ultimately, Sarah realizes that she's come to love Jacob and the children, and Jacob grudgingly accepts that he now has feelings for Sarah. As the production ends, Anna and Caleb watch as Jacob and Sarah wed, taking joy in being part of a new family. Includes commercials. This program is closed-captioned.

("Hallmark Hall of Fame" aired on NBC from 1952 to 1978; network affiliation varies after 1978.)

(Beginning with the live telecast of the opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" on December 24, 1951, Hallmark has sponsored a series of dramatic specials which since 1952 have been titled "Hallmark Hall of Fame." From 1952 to 1955 Hallmark also presented "Hallmark Hall of Fame," a weekly half-hour dramatic anthology series hosted by Sarah Churchill. The first program, "Dr. Serocold," was televised in January 1952 under the title "Hallmark Television Theatre." This series also ran under the title "Hallmark Summer Theatre" in July and August 1952.)

Cataloging of this program was made possible by the Verizon Foundation.


  • DATE: February 3, 1991 Sunday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:57:18
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:29736
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1991
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Hallmark cards^TV - Promos - "Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter"^TV - Promos - "Murphy Brown"^TV - Promos - "Designing Women"


    • William Self … Executive Producer
    • Glenn Close … Executive Producer
    • Edwin Self … Supervising Producer
    • Glenn Jordan … Producer, Director
    • Patricia MacLachlan … Writer, Based on the book "Sarah, Plain and Tall" by
    • Carol Sobieski … Writer
    • David Shire … Music by
    • Marsha Paludan … Choreographer
    • Glenn Close … Cast, Sarah Wheaton
    • Christopher Walken … Cast, Jacob Witting
    • Lexi Randall … Cast, Anna Witting
    • Margaret Sophie Stein … Cast, Maggie Grant
    • Jon De Vries … Cast, Matthew Grant
    • Christopher Bell … Cast, Caleb Witting
    • James Rebhorn … Cast, William Wheaton
    • Woody Watson … Cast, Jess Stearns
    • Betty Laird … Cast, May Parkley
    • Marc Penney … Cast, Ticket Agent
    • Kara Beth Taylor … Cast, Rose Grant
    • Larry Moran … Cast, Jedidiah