An uncommon glance at American Revolutionary War history is intelligently and flavorfully re-created in the moderately absorbing story of a Connecticut wife and mother caught between her religious faith and deep love for her husband.
The movie, reports cable network Lifetime, “is bypassing theatrical release to make its world premiere” on cable TV.
The production, loaded with 15 historical consultants, sponsored by the Institute for Early American History and Culture and filmed in Nova Scotia with the support of the Nova Scotia Film Development Council, is handsome and rich in historical detail.
Director Stephen Surjik, working from a measured script by Steven Schechter and Louisa Burns Bisogno, deliberatelymaintains a stately pace, which turns out to be the right approach for the material.
Based on the letters and diaries of Mary Silliman (1736-1813), the material drops us into the fourth year of the Revolutionary War. Neighbors are pitted against neighbors in the comparatively remote town of Fairfield, Conn.
When a pack of Tories kidnaps high-ranking American patriot Selleck Silliman (veteran actor Richard Donat), his wife Mary (the convincing Nancy Pilk), although apolitical, is compelled to face the reality of the war and hard world decisions.
Specifically, she compromises her beliefs to wheel and deal with the British in order to effect her husband’s release. Mixed into the pot is a trade-off of Tory prisoners held by the rebels.