Harvest of Fire

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It has been a while since I watched the 1996 TV movie, Harvest of Fire, but it was on again recently so I tuned in. The movie is a about an Amish community that has been the victim of some barn burnings, believed to be hate crimes.  An FBI agent is dispatched to check on the situation.

There are several things I enjoy about Harvest of Fire. First of all, there is Patty Duke, one of my all time favorite actresses.  She is ultra talented and always gives her best in her portrayals. Her role here is Annie, an Amish widow with a couple of teenage children. Duke plays the role with sensitivity, charm, and even some restraint. She does a great job of representing the Amish way of life.

Another thing I like is the actual representation of the Amish, who live a simpler life without the use of electricity and high tech gadgets. The predictable part of the tale is, of course, how the busy female FBI agent ends up learning that simpler is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lolita Davidovich plays Sally, the agent in question. She is quite believable, showing both a tender and romantic presence as well as a tough, in your face attitude when facing the bad guys. She also has a nice chemistry with Duke, allowing for the two characters to forge a realistic friendship in which both help to educate the other. Naturally, by the end of the movie, Sally has made some life realizations about her relationship with good guy boyfriend, Scott (James Read).

Read’s contribution to the movie is pretty limited, but I like to watch him.  He made an impression on me years ago as George Hazard in North and South which starred my favorite, Patrick Swayze.

Yet another element I enjoyed were the discussions about the Amish way of life as compared to what is called normal. Annie and Sally have some nice moments in this regard, and what I like is that good points were made for both ways; it was not a one-sided debate, so to speak.

So, I enjoyed watching the film again. The plot was average, but the performances by Duke and Davidovich were terrific.


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