- "An old soldier named Ben Milam got tired of waiting for orders. So he drew a line in the sand with his sword and he called out, "Boys, who will follow old Ben Milam into San Antonio?" And of the 500 men that had camped there, 300 said "I will.""
- —Davy Crockett to the Lawrences
Dear America: A Line in the Sand is a television film based on A Line in the Sand by Sherry Garland. It was the eighth entry in the Dear America series of films. Amy Stewart starred as the heroine opposite Tamsin Kelsey and Adrian Hough as her parents. It aired in April 2000 on the HBO Family Channel.
In Gonzales, Lucinda Lawrence (Amy Stewart) welcomes the return of her father Samuel (Adrian Hough) and her older brother Willis (Steven McCarthy). A group of Mexican soldiers later arrive across the river and ask for the town's cannon. The citizens refuse, fashioning a flag that reads "Come and Take It." Willis believes that Texas should fight for its freedom from Mexico. His father, having fought in the War of 1812, opposes war and wants to cooperate with Mexico. Shortly later, Gonzales engage in battle with the soldiers and win.
After receiving news that the Mexican army is coming, Willis joins the Texian forces and heads to San Antonio. Samuel gives him his blessing, despite his misgivings about war. Over the next few days, his mother (Tamsin Kelsey) worries about him and wants to go to San Antonio, where her brother Isaac (Ari Cohen) and his pregnant wife Esperanza (Inga Cadranel) live. She later receives a letter from Isaac entreating her to stay home. However, she decides to go anyway and her husband reluctantly comes along.
On the way, Davy Crockett (Scott Wickware) helps the family when their wagon breaks down. In San Antonio, Willis informs them that the Texians have won, but Esperanza believes the Mexicans will be back soon. Willis takes Lucinda to a fandango that night. She dances with her longtime crush, Matthew Linder. The same night, their family has packed a wagon since Santa Anna is just eight miles away. Willis and Isaac decide to stay and fight. Samuel also attempts to stay until his wife convinces him otherwise.
Lucinda, her parents, and Esperanza start the journey towards Gonzales. Along the way, they receive news that the Alamo has fallen and Willis and Isaac have been killed. Lucinda and her family are heading towards the States, when Esperanza gives birth to a son who she names Isaac. A few days later, a messengers inform them that "Texas has won its independence" and shouts "Remember the Alamo!" As they arrive home in Gonzales, Lucinda recalls her brother "head high, shoulders squared, stepping across that line in the sand."
Cast and characters
- Amy Stewart as Lucinda Lawrence
- Tamsin Kelsey as Rebecca Lawrence
- Adrian Hough as Samuel Lawrence
- Steven McCarthy as Willis Lawrence
- Ari Cohen as Isaac
- Inga Cadranel as Esperanza
- Scott Wickware as Davy Crockett
- Kristin Adams as Mittie Roe
- Joel Hechter as Alamo Man
- Trevor McCarthy as Messenger #1
Crew and credits
Home video release
A Line in the Sand and When Will This Cruel War Be Over? are the only two Dear America films not released on home video. It is now available for purchase on certain streaming services.
Differences from book
- Various characters are missing from the film, including Lemuel Lawrence, Green Lawrence, Susanna Dickinson, Galba Fuqua, Uncle Henry and Aunt Nancy, James Bowie, and Sam Houston.
- Sarah Roe and William Travis are mentioned but do not appear.
- Mittie Roe only appears in a few short scenes and her personality is noticeably changed.
- Lucinda's father's name is changed to Samuel, instead of Aaron. His leg injury is also stated to be an old war injury, while he actually hurts it just before the Texas Revolution in the book.
- In the film, Willis participates in the Gonzalez battle, while the Siege of Béxar and the Battle of the Alamo take place within days of each other.
- Lucinda has a crush on a new character, Matthew Linder, who seems to have replaced Galba. She later dances with him at the fandango, instead of James Allen.
- Esperanza does not give birth until after the Alamo and later goes with the Lawrences' to Gonzalez. Additionally, the baby is named after his father Isaac, while he is named George Washington in the book.
- Steven McCarthy, who played Willis Lawrence in the film, portrayed Sean Riordan in So Far from Home.
|Dear America films|