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 The fate of Albert Ingalls

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AI
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:30 pm

Davetucson wrote:
Bringing the show back was not an option...I doubt very seriously that NBC lost any money from the 3 movies. The show was over Peter. ALL shows come to an end....Certainly Vince could have written another ending, but obviously he chose to leave Albert up in the air.......but I don't find anything strange about it.........

Did I like it? No I didn't....but there is a positive side. The love Albert had for Walnut Grove...

As far as blowing up Walnut Grove, it was part of the deal with the property owner. The sets had to be destroyed and the land brought back to it's original state. Michael just chose to incorporate that into the last movie....

Thanks for the answers Dave.

When I posted my first long text about all this I did it because I didn’t feel that I could come any further by myself.
So I wanted to know if there were any more information, built on facts, that I could compare to what I believed had happened. And I guessed that the best place to find it would be on a forum for longtime fans.
The things that you just wrote was exactly what I was looking for and please don’t get me wrong now, I don’t want it to sound as I distrust you, but I really would like to know the source of your information.
Why wasn’t it an option to bring back the show after a couple of years? It has happened to other shows.
Does this come from any interview or any document or did anyone involved tell you about it? I really would like to share that information.  

I know that Karen Grassle has said in an interview that she felt sorry about that Michael had made the decision to blow up Walnut grove. That doesn’t sound to me as it was part of any deal but maybe she hasn’t got all information about it.
But it also sounds perfectly logical to me that they wanted to remove the buildings if they should return the land to some external owner.
However this is not any proof to me that they couldn’t hire the land again a couple of years later. When I see pictures of it from recent years it looks quite untouched to me.
So again, do you want to share your sources with me about the information that they returned the land to someone outside the cast or NBC? And were there any information available about the possibility to hire it again a few years after 1984?    

The thing that really bothers me in all this is the question about what Michael felt for the character Albert? I can’t stop asking myself that question. I believed that he cared a lot for him all through all episodes up to I first heard about and eventually saw “Look back to yesterday”.
Michael created Albert, gave him a father and a loving family and seems to also have cared a lot for Matthew. It’s of course not right to mix Michael and Charles up, Charles obviously loved Albert throughout the whole show, but what about Michael?
Why did he suddenly feel that he could let Albert suffer and perhaps die?
If it was his intention to let Albert die when he knew that the show was near an ending then it’s the same thing to me as if a father first says that he loves his son and then heartlessly abandons him without any feelings.
All this are of course only my personal feelings but it would have been a big lie and betrayal in my eyes!
I know that it will sound strange to a lot of you but it physically hurts inside me to think about it! Hard words of course but I can’t explain it in any other way.
I understand that it’s probably not a proper thing to write the following words about an icon as Michael Landon but it’s my opinion that if he, a person who apparently already had earned about 100 million dollars on the show, could make the choice to let Albert die just in order to make some more money, then he would pale a lot in my eyes. And it really would spoil a lot to me about the meaning with the show. I simply wouldn’t be able to forgive him about it and I wouldn’t be able to look at him the way I used to do.  

I’m the first one to admit that I really want to believe that Albert did survive and became a doctor!
And I really wish that the movie “Look back to yesterday” was never produced!
I wouldn’t need any psychologist to understand that myself.  
But I have tried really hard to think through all episodes from season 5 to the last movie, with my mind as opened as I can, in order to find clues about what happened.
And it’s always two things that strikes me when I think about it.

The first thing is that the show is actually very well written and that they have put down a lot of time and work to make years, ages and stories to hold together, at least through the original 9 seasons.

For example:
When I wanted to question the year of 1881 on the paper that Jeremy Quinn signed in “The Family tree” in order to find out about Alberts birth year it was quite easy to find the part in the ending of “The Winoka warriors” where Laura says that it’s November 1880. And that was early in season 5.
“The Family tree” was a season later, early in season 6 and a couple of episodes later, in middle of season 6, we have the episode “What ever happened to the class of 56?” where Caroline and Charles gets an invitation to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the class of 1856.
The year of 1856 plus 25 years would be the year of 1881.
And the whole show is full of this kind of stuff that seems to fit together.
Now, if it is that way through the original 9 seasons why wouldn’t it be the same way in the last 3 movies? Did they suddenly not care about details anymore? For example, when they said in season 9 that Albert was to become the doctor of Walnut grove, was that not important anymore in the post-series movies? Why not? It would have been important earlier on in the history of LHOTP.
“The Last farewell” was written by Michael himself and he if anyone was always careful with details so why wouldn’t he be that in that last movie? Why didn’t he make sure that all questions got an answer?
     
The other thing that strikes me is that the answer that Albert should have died from his illness creates more questions to me than if the answer would be that he didn’t die.    

For example:
If Albert did die from his illness after “Look back to yesterday” why isn’t there any information about any funeral?
We have the scene in “Look back to yesterday” when Albert is in the hospital bed talking to Charles about that he didn’t want to go back to Burr Oak because he wanted to ”go home” to Walnut grove.
Albert says “Take me back to Walnut grove pa, I became Albert Ingalls there. Take me back. Let me go back there and stay forever. Please pa, okay?” And Charles replies “Okay”.
That for me is a wish from Albert to be buried in his beloved town Walnut grove and to me it’s also a confirmation from Charles that he will be.
Now, we know that Caroline sees the Wilders house for the first time in “The Last farewell” and she hasn’t been in Walnut grove for 3 years.
Therefor she couldn’t have been in Walnut grove after “Look back to yesterday”.
So wasn’t she present at Alberts funeral? That sounds totally absurd to me!
Or was she present but didn’t visit the Wilders house? That also sounds highly unlikely!
And if she wasn’t present at the funeral wouldn’t it be one of her first priorities to visit the grave when she arrived to Walnut grove? But she didn’t! She didn’t even talk about it. No one did! Not even in the end of the movie when they had to destroy the town and leave forever!  
Or did Charles break his promise to Albert and didn’t bury him in Walnut grove? That would be a heartbreaking answer and to me not very likely!
Or didn’t Michael Landon care anymore about this kind of details that he was so careful with before?
Or wasn’t Albert dead to Michael when he wrote the story for “The Last farewell”?        

And to that there are all those other questions that I have described before like, why was there so little information about the illness, why didn’t they give any accurate answers about his fate and why did Michael want to use this subject on Albert when he could have written about almost anything? Things that I tried to present theories about in my first post but that only seems to create supplementary questions to me if the answers wouldn’t be that he survived from his blood disorder.  
When it comes to blowing up the town Michael obviously wanted to do that on the screen, even though there were people around him that didn’t want it to happen, so he did it in a way that no one could misinterpret. The town as we know it was gone.
But if he also wanted Albert to die, why didn’t he do that thing properly too? Why leave that question without any clear answers? He was obviously not afraid to do things his own way if he wanted to. Didn’t he want Albert to die?
I really would like to know what Michael had in his mind about it!
If there were anyone who deserved to know what was going on with the character Albert it would have been, as I see it, Matthew himself but not even he seems to be sure if Albert was dead or not. Why?    

I want you to know Dave that I really appreciate that you have taken time to argue with me!
I also got a few more comments from other persons, and I also would like to thank all those persons for their posts even if I didn’t answer to them! But I felt that I did answer in all my other posts.
You, Dave, are obviously a lot older than I am and you have loved this show for decades. And I guess that you made up your mind about Alberts destiny many years ago.
I have only loved the show for a couple of months and I’m still looking for answers. And I’m not sure that I will come to the same conclusions in the end as you seem to have done.
But again, I really would like to thank you for taking time with me!

However, it has become more and more clear to me that there are not many people on this forum that are prepared to discuss this and in that situation I feel that I maybe will ruin the good feeling about the show for a lot of people if I continue.
And I don’t want to do that!
So I think that the best thing for everybody seems to be that I continue to look for my answers on other places.
I hope that my thoughts about different details was at least a little bit interesting to some of you and maybe there are, or will be, anyone that feels a little bit as I do that can get something out of all this.

Love to you all and take care!
Peter
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Davetucson
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:30 pm

Peter, this is an article from several years ago interviewing Kent McCray. It explains the destruction of Walnut Grove. Since he was a Producer for Michael on Bonanza, Little House, Highway to Heaven, and US, I would think he is a pretty good source....

Kent McCray explains the REAL story of the destruction of Walnut Grove in the Last Farewell TV-Movie

Many fans have asked over the years why did Michael Landon blow up the town of Walnut Grove? Many fans think Michael wanted to do it, and many programs such as the most recent TV Land special have reported false information. For the first time Kent McCray, producer of Little House on the Prairie and close friend to Michael Landon has shared with PrairieFans.com the TRUTH behind this story.

Lennon: Thanks Kent for taking the time out of your day to talk about what happened to the town of Walnut Grove that has become a special place to many people around the world.

Kent: A lot has been said of late about why on Little House on the Prairie we blew up the town. I would like to set it straight so that everyone understands what actually happened. We have to go back to the start of the series when I made an arrangement to rent the property from Newhall Land and Development in Newhall, California.

The agreement that I had with them was that at the end of the series we would put the acreage back to its normal state. The reason for this was that Newhall Land and Development used the acreage as a feedlot for their cattle empire. Therefore, they were afraid if the buildings still stood one of the animals might get into them and get hurt or children in the area might get into the area and start to smoke, and with the high grass area that could be very dangerous. So it was in our initial agreement that we put the land back to its original state--thus filling in the areas where we had the stream and the town, and the stream by the little house, and taking the buildings down. That was the original reason.

Now, lets talk about why we blew up the town. On a given day in the tenth season we had already done two two-hour shows and our commitment was to do a third. We had not decided on a script at this point and I was in the office working with Don Winter, our construction coordinator, about what it would take to dismantle all the buildings. While we were doing this and trying to run an estimate on the cost involved, Mike walked in the office and listened to what was going on and said, “How are you going to take the buildings down?” And I said, “We will probably bring in a large size crane similar to what you see on home makeover and knock the buildings apart, pick up the debris, and cart it away.” He said, “Let me think about that for a minute.” He went into the office and Don and I continued working and finished what we were doing.

About an hour and a half later Mike came back into my office and said, “What if we blow up the town? That would get the buildings all in pieces and you still can bring in your equipment to pick up the debris and cart it away.” And I said, “That’s fine.” He replied, “I will write a show that is where we will blow up all the buildings. I will not blow up the little house nor the church, but my thinking is to blow up all the other buildings.”


That in place Mike went and wrote a script called The Last Farewell. Now while we were preparing the show we had to run a few tests. We were not sure if we blew up the town what kind of force it would take and how close we could get our cameras. So the first building to be blown up was the Garvey house. That was a test. Luke Tilman, our special effects man, rigged the building with explosives and we set a platform which we thought we would have the cameras on. We had a few water wagons and a few other necessary pieces of equipment there to run the test. We blew up the Garvey house and as it blew up we realized that our camera platforms were really too close because they also fell apart. We brought in the water wagon, drug out the hose, and the hose had more leaks in it than anything else. So that was, we learned, a bad moment as well.

So, than it was decided the first building that we would blow up would be the house Laura Ingalls Wilder was living in, which was the two story ornate house that we had put up in a separate location from the town. After that it was decided on a given date when to blow up the town. I had to go to the local sheriffs department to make arrangements with them so they know when the actual explosions start that it wasn’t some attack or something happening in the area. I also had to alert the fire department. They brought out extra equipment to assist us if anything caught on fire. So it was quite a chore to rig everything that needed to be done in place, and therefore, we had it set for a given date to blow up the town.

On the given morning we had, I believe, five cameras running. The first building we blew up was the mill and when the water wheel came tumbling down it broke my heart because that was the centerpiece that brought everyone together in the town. And from there I think we blew up the seed and feed, we blew up Nellie’s Restaurant and Olsen’s store. I think the final things to go, but not sure of its order was the post office, Doctor Baker’s office and the blacksmith’s shop.

This is the original reason why the buildings were blown up. It is also true in some respect that Michael did say at a time that he wanted the buildings destroyed because he didn’t want any other show to come in and use them in commercials or another western to take over where we left off. I think that brings it up to date. Hope you all understand.



Lennon: Thanks again Kent for sharing this information with me and all the fans of Little House around the world.



Additional Notes



Susan McCray, casting director for Little House and close friend to Michael Landon told me that Kent and Mike loved the town and wept as it was destroyed. During and most especially at the conclusion of the day, there wasn't a dry eye on anyone's face, most especially the faces of the two men who loved it the most ... they cried and hugged each other after they got home. Kent and Susan, most of the time, would pick up Mike, drive to location and then bring him home. That day Mike asked if he could come back to the McCray home for a little while and share a toast to a place that would remain in their hearts forever.



I also asked if anybody kept any items after the explosion or any memorabilia and was told by Susan that nothing but wood sticks were left after the explosions, but Susan saved and treasures the little figurine that was on the Little House mantle. Kent bought all the props and wardrobe pieces from the show after they wrapped. All were housed in a large warehouse at the western location "Old Tucson", in Tucson, AZ where they had filmed numerous shows. One morning Kent and Susan were awakened with the tragic, heartbreaking news that there was a major fire at Old Tucson and all was destroyed. Melissa Gilbert saved her wardrobe dress and had it beautifully framed. It hangs proudly on a wall in Melissa's living room.

Peter, you may also want to read this chat took place with Kent McCray. In it, he talks about the three movies and why they were made................
 http://lauralittlehouseontheprairie.blogspot.com/2008/06/chat-with-little-house-producer-kent.html


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:23 am

Oh Lord, I am dizzy!  LOL   I don't think I've ever read so much!   thud  OhMy Laughing 

Seriously Peter, I don't think any of us are supposed to know Albert's fate.  I don't even think the cast members themselves know.  The reason many of us can't answer your questions is because we know just as much as you do.  But, the interviews that Dave posted with Kent McCray are the best answers to your questions.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:11 pm

First of all, I didn’t plan to write any more about this subject but as you Dave shared those two interviews that I didn’t know about before, I’ll have to thank you and make a few comments.

But first, julmer70, many thanks for your post too!
I agree with you, I have written a lot and maybe, just maybe, I overdid it a little bit. Ooops  Laughing 
But I also think that you are right about that we are probably not supposed to know about Alberts fate.
To most people it wouldn’t be a problem not to get any answers and to some people it would be.
To me it’s a problem not to know why we didn’t got any answers!
I like to think that there are reasons for most things and I get frustrated when I don’t understand the meaning with things like this. But that’s just the way I am.

Anyway, the two interviews with Kent McCray was interesting and very fun to read but I don’t think that they gave that many answers to my questions.
At least not about the issue with Albert which wasn’t talked about at all.
To me it seems that Kent was very close to Michael but he doesn’t seems to have been that involved in the writings, does he?
He says that he got the finished manuscripts and then it was his job to make films out of them.
I don’t think that he was that involved in the decisions about the contents.

There were a few answers in those interviews that I think is clear and logical.
First why they had to remove the buildings and second that it probably would be hard legally for anyone to restart the show today if they wanted to.  
But it really didn’t answer why Michaels wanted to use the removing of the buildings as a part of the story in the last movie. That was obviously not a thing that he had to do.
It seems more to me as if he just wanted an idea for the last movie and got it when they talked about the buildings. A good idea or not? Well…

The most interesting part for me however was the part where Kent says:
“It is also true in some respect that Michael did say at a time that he wanted the buildings destroyed because he didn’t want any other show to come in and use them in commercials or another western to take over where we left off.”
If Kents version is correct, and I have no reason not to believe that, then Michael ought to have known about the agreement that they would have to remove the buildings when the show was over.
And in that case he wouldn’t have had to worry about anyone using the buildings and those words would have been irrelevant.
But the person how got those words from Michael must have thought that he got information from the most reliable source of them all, Michael Landon himself!
And from that we can learn that if anyone wants to get to the bottom with a question like this they just can't take one statement from anyone and believe that they have got the final answer.
They still would have to compare it to all other available information.

Many thanks again for the posted interviews!
Peter
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Mon May 12, 2014 1:09 pm

 Welcome  Welcome to forum.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Wed May 14, 2014 4:11 am

Shell wrote:
 Welcome  Welcome to forum.

Thanks!  Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:51 pm

I believe Albert died.

Michael Landon created him and he was his to kill off. It was a terribly sad movie but terrifically well acted and with an uplifting ending.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:25 pm



"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:02 am

I don't have time to look up links right now, but I'm pretty sure there is a Kent McCray interview somewhere where he says he thought their intention for Albert's fate was made pretty clear in the movie. That being said, I've stubbornly decided to believe the voice over in Home Again. The show took it's fair share of dramatic license, so I will take some of my own. I don't remember if the movie addresses Mr. Montague's medical knowledge, but maybe one of his herbal remedies ended up working for Albert. As for Walnut Grove being blown up, we all know it was eventually rebuilt since it still exists to this day.
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:23 am

There is one great thing about this forum. New folks that come on it bring different opinions. This subject has been turned inside out on here several times. Kent McCray flat out said that it was Michael's intention that Albert dies. When they asked Matt himself about in a 2005 reunion, he simply didn't know. And then there is the famous voice over in "Home Again". Made well before the three movies were written after the cancellation.

The marvelous thing about it all, is here we are, thirty two years later debating it. And when you get right down to it, we believe what we want to believe. And I will always believe, that Michael wanted it to be that way.

The person I would have liked to have talked to was Vince Gutierrez, who actually wrote it. But unfortunately he passed away in 2005. I'm sure he would have known what Michael was really trying to say...............

I saw it in 1983 when it originally aired. I still get emotional when I watch it today. There is NO right or wrong about Albert's fate. It's what you believe that's right. And that is a great piece of writing!


"Albert, do you REALLY think you are old enough to know what love is?"
"I must be Pa. I love you, I have for a long time."
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:09 am

I agree that there is no right and wrong about Albert's fate since we were basically given two different endings for Albert in an episode and movie that aired 10 months apart.  You have to disregard what we were told in Home Again if you believe he died, so as a fan I believe we have just as much right to go the other way and disregard what happened in the movie and stick with what we were told in Home Again.

The funny thing about this debate is that one of my favorite Little House websites gives two different takes on Albert's fate.  In the history section is says:

Quote :
"Look Back to Yesterday" was aired on December 12, 1983, with Albert Ingalls contracting a rare and deadly blood disease. However, Albert survives the ordeal as Michael didn't believe in killing off good characters on his show. The silence of film explains it perfectly. Not to mention he and Matthew Laborteaux were very close, like father and son.

http://littlehousescenery.homestead.com/files/history2.html

Then in the episodes section it says:

Quote :
Trivia note: In a 2005 conversation with producer Kent McCray, the question of Albert's mortality was discussed. The correct answer is yes, he died in the television film. This was the story idea Michael Landon and the production set out to film in summer of 1983. The final scenes in this telefilm, where Albert, Laura and the kids are walking up the hillside is the indication that he dies in the story.

http://littlehousescenery.homestead.com/files/tvmovies.html

On a side note, I now know it wasn't the intention, but as a nine-year old kid I thought Albert's drug use in Home Again had caused his illness in the movie, so it sent me a powerful anti-drug message.  
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PostSubject: Re: The fate of Albert Ingalls   Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:30 pm

I'm just now at the part in season 5 when Albert first appears and Charles persuades him to come back with him to Walnut Grove.

Knowing how it all ends, I'm looking forward to all the episodes in between with Albert. I like to watch the show as it is aired 5 linear episodes a week on my local channel.
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