"THE DOLLMAKER," Monday, 8-11 p.m. (7)(3)(10)(42)--Following the recent gaudy hoopla over the Statue of Liberty, it's nice to find a story that reflects the true grit of America. Even if it is a repeat.
Jane Fonda is splendid as a rural woodcarver in this fine three-hour "ABC Theater" production--an adaptation of Harriet Arnow's novel, by Susan Cooper and Hume Cronyn--that first aired in 1984. It is about a transplanted Kentucky family's struggle to survive in alien " Dee -troit" as World War II winds to a close.
When Clovis Nevels decides to do his part in the war effort by taking a mechanic's job in the north, the ever-obedient Gertie follows him with their five children. Once there, they lead a gloomy Quonset hut existence, beset by debts, anti-hillbilly prejudice, foul weather and family catastrophe.
Gertie's wood dolls are a metaphor for her pioneer-fierce spirit. She bends but won't break, refusing to surrender her independence and simple values in her new harsh, gray environment.