Harper Valley PTA

Watch Harper Valley PTA

"The song was scandalous. The movie is hilarious!"
  • PG
  • 1978
  • 1 hr 33 min
  • 5.8  (1,243)

Harper Valley PTA is a 1978 movie directed by Richard C. Bennett and based on a song with the same title by Tom T. Hall. The movie, which stars Barbara Eden, Ronny Cox, and Nanette Fabray, is a lighthearted comedy that centers around a single mother named Stella Johnson, who takes on the oppressive establishment of her small town, forcing them to acknowledge and respect her.

The movie follows Stella Johnson, a widow and mother of a teenage daughter, as she tries to raise her child and make ends meet in a small, conservative town. However, her life takes a turn for the worse when the town's PTA, led by the snobbish and judgmental Flora Simpson Reilly (played by Fabray), begins to meddle in her personal life.

Stella is a free-spirited woman who dresses unconventionally and doesn't conform to the town's strict social norms. Her teenage daughter, Dee, is also somewhat of a rebel, sporting a punk-like hairstyle and dating a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. This doesn't sit well with the PTA and they begin to scrutinize Stella's every move, criticizing her parenting skills and even questioning her morals.

But Stella is not one to back down from a fight, and she decides to take on the PTA by running for the position of president herself. Her campaign is a success, and she is elected as the new head of the PTA, much to the dismay of Flora and her group of cronies.

With Stella in charge, the PTA becomes a force for good in the community, taking on issues like drunk driving and encouraging parents to spend more time with their children. However, Flora and her cohorts see Stella as a threat to their power and status, and they begin to plot against her.

Throughout the movie, there are many humorous moments, like when Stella confronts a hypocritical member of the PTA who is caught drinking and driving, or when she exposes Flora's own immoral behavior. But beneath the comedy, there is a serious message about standing up for what you believe in and fighting against social injustice.

The performances in the movie are top-notch, with Barbara Eden delivering a strong and charismatic performance as Stella. She is supported by excellent performances from Ronny Cox as the town's sympathetic sheriff and Nanette Fabray as the elitist Flora. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and they bring to life the various characters in the movie, making it an entertaining and engaging watch.

The movie's soundtrack is also worth mentioning, featuring the original song "Harper Valley PTA" by Jeannie C. Riley, which became a hit in the late 1960s. The song's themes of rebellion and standing up to authority are reflected in the movie, and it adds to the overall tone and feel of the film.

In conclusion, Harper Valley PTA is a delightful comedy that tackles serious issues like social injustice and the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Barbara Eden's captivating performance as Stella Johnson, combined with a strong supporting cast and a catchy soundtrack, make for a highly entertaining movie that has stood the test of time.

Harper Valley PTA
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 33 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (1,243)