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  • A WWII American GI (MacNicol) marries an English girl (Hamilton) and takes her home to his Tennessee backwoods parents (Dewhurst & Robards) and his mentally challenged sister (Bates).

    That he HAD to marry her is irrelevant, as they seemed to love one another, but the friendly queries and intense conflicts about these two ways of life was amusing and interesting to observe and listen to.

    She asks why there is wiring on the windows, as England does not have buzzing bugs as America does.

    The dog barks incessantly at her, and after one booming argument with her husband, she screams at the barking dog "Oh, shut up!"

    When next we see her, she is walking the dog out to get the mail.

    Problems arise, with bull-headed men (this was 1986 when this movie came out after all) as Robards seeks retribution by burning a neighbor's shed or building.

    When Hamilton seeks to call the fire department, Robards holds a shotgun on her for her to hang up the phone. Dewhurst enters and upon seeing the scene, takes the gun away from Robards without hesitation.

    Finally, Hamilton realizes she must live in this society as they do, and she in turn holds the shotgun on Robards and MacNicol, instructing the slow Bates to now call the proper authorities to investigate the fire, even tho it has now been extinguished. Dewhurst makes no attempt to stop Hamilton.

    Brilliantly played all the way around, what I can recall now is outstanding on Hamilton's part, MacNicol did what he always does which is suitable, Robards and Dewhurst were rich (actually Robards seemed a bit wasted, but who could utilize his full talents?) and this early Bates definitely gets her spotlight, tho her storyline seemed a bit unnecessary, as she reveals she was raped (rather candidly, her childlike mind not grasping what had happened) and that Dewhurst had killed the attacker.

    Bates is also very effective making that phone call. She likes her new sister-in-law very much.

    Classic line, when Hamilton and MacNicol are arguing:

    MacNicol: "America should just head over there and bomb England into the Atlantic!"

    Hamilton: "Well, you're welcome to go for it. The Germans tried and they were intelligent."
  • I saw Johnny Bull both in the theater, The Belgrave, in Coventry, England and on Television here in the United States.

    Kathy is known to me as a cousin and I remember all to well how proud all of us relatives were getting all dressed up and going to see our Kath's play at The Belgrave Theatre.

    The play was great and explained so much more to me about my cousin who, as the story went, ran off and married this rich American she met during the war.

    Kathy was excited following the play's success to have the story brought to the big screen, she was even more excited that the great Colleen Dewhurst was to play her Mother-in-Law. The movie came out and was aired on television. I was thrilled with the great production, stunned with the performances from the actors and completely drawn into the life and hardships of the cold miners and their families in Pennsylvania. I completely understood how baffled my cousin must have been arriving to the mines of Pennsylvania when it was the bright lights of Los Vegas she was expecting. I smiled knowing that my cousin had only seen feel good movies of New York and Hollywood during the war, Pennsylvanian coal mines did not exist in those movies. The writing explained to story so well.

    This movie is a "must see. " If you have ever wondered how your family ended up living in the United States, this story tells of one of those ways. Her story goes on to include some the struggles that accompany the adventure.
  • My husband and I loved this film and always hoped to see it on TV again. We did tape it but it is primitively done as we had just gotten a video recorder. This was the first time we had seen Kathy Bates and could not help but wonder if she was mentally deficient. What a wonderful job of acting! Have not checked IMDb yet but have always expected it to be listed on her credits when her work has been listed. This was a wonderful story. Funny and sad. Have never seen her is a really bad movie but felt that her acting here was exceptional. Hope that someone can convince the powers that be to put it on TV again or maybe on Netflix