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Dallas: The Early Years

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Director  Larry Elikann
First episode date  March 23, 1986
Country  United States
7.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Romance
Network  CBS
Writer  David Jacobs
Language  English
Dallas: The Early Years Dallas: The Early Years

Release date  March 23, 1986 (1986-03-23)
Based on  Dallasby David Jacobs
Cast  David Marshall Grant (Willard 'Diggers' Barnes), Dale Midkiff (Jock Ewing), Molly Hagan (Ellie), David Wilson (Jason Ewing), Hoyt Axton (Aaron Southworth), Larry Hagman (J.R. Ewing)
Similar movies  Related Larry Elikann movies

DALLAS: The Early Years Movie (with bonus intro)

Jock Ewing (Dale Midkiff), Jason Ewing and Digger Barnes (David Grant) begin the family feud of their "Dallas" TV series sons.


DALLAS: The Early Years Movie (with bonus intro) - YouTube

Dallas: The Early Years is a 1986 made-for-television movie prequel to the TV series Dallas. It aired on CBS on March 23, 1986 between the 26th and 27th episode of the ninth season of Dallas (1985–86).

Dallas: The Early Years movie scenes  Image dallasmx01dallastheearl 3006 jpg

Prequel to the popular "Dallas" TV series focuses on the origins of the Ewing-Barnes feud during the 1930's. Larry Hagman provides the opening narration for the film. The story opens at a 1951 barbecue with "Digger" Barnes firing a shot at "Jock" Ewing. Immediately flashing back to the depression, the two men first meet in a boxcar as both are hoboing. Their original friendship is built on their desires to find oil. But their failings start as they both compete for the hand of the beautiful Miss Ellie. Jock is shown to be an honorable man caught up in a backlash. Digger is a neurotic, alcoholic with a gift for finding oil.

Plot summary

Written by series creator David Jacobs, the movie chronicles the exploits of John Ross "Jock" Ewing (Dale Midkiff), Eleanor "Miss Ellie" Southworth Ewing (Molly Hagan), and Willard "Digger" Barnes (David Grant) from 1933 to the early 1950s, and firmly established the background story of TVs Dallas with the long and ongoing feud between Jock and Digger. Larry Hagman appears in the opening sequence as his character J.R. Ewing, being interviewed by a reporter who is researching the Barnes – Ewing feud.

While focusing on the triangle of Jock – Ellie – Digger, the movie also features Jocks brother Jason (David Wilson) and Ellies father Aaron (Hoyt Axton) as starring characters. It shows the origin of Ewing Oil, and Jocks schemings to make it big, and it deals with the inter-family relations of the Ewings, the Barnes, and the Southworths; also showing Jocks first marriage to Amanda Lewis, and Ellies relation with her brother Garrison and mother Barbara.


  • David Grant as Willard "Digger" Barnes
  • Dale Midkiff as Jock Ewing
  • Molly Hagan as Ellie Southworth Ewing
  • David Wilson as Jason Ewing
  • Hoyt Axton as Aaron Southworth
  • Introduced by
  • Larry Hagman as (the contemporary) J.R. Ewing
  • Also Starring
  • Bill Duke as Seth Foster
  • Geoffrey Lewis as Ed Porter
  • Guest Starring
  • Diane Franklin as Amanda Lewis Ewing
  • Marshall Thompson as Dr. Ted Johnson
  • William Frankfather as Newman
  • Wendel Meldrum as Honey
  • Joe Rainer as Sam Culver
  • Marjie Rynearson as Barbara Southworth
  • Liz Keifer as Cherie Simmons
  • Matt Mulhern as Garrison Southworth
  • Davis Roberts as The Preacher
  • Kevin Wixted as J.R. Ewing
  • Co-Starring
  • Ryan Beadle as Bobby Ewing
  • Angie Bolling as Deborah Culver
  • Johnny Felder as Cliff Barnes
  • Rhashell Hunter as Priscilla Foster
  • Bennie Moore as Benjamin Foster (1933)
  • Norma Moore as Maggie Barnes
  • Terrence Riggins as Benjamin Foster (1951)
  • Andrea Wauters as Pamela Barnes
  • DVD release

    Warner Home Video released Dallas: The Early Years on DVD April 12, 2011 on Dallas: The Movie Collection 2-disc set.


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