John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe

Press Release (from the producer)

John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe
A Dramatic Film for Children
A Hott Production of Florentine Films

Florentine Films is producing a one-hour special for children on the boyhood of John Muir. The National Endowment for Children's Educational Television is partially sponsoring the production.

The Film:

This film for television will be a one-hour dramatic feature on the boyhood of John Muir. Muir is known today as the founder of Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Club, and as this nation's first environmentalist. It was in his youth that the foundation for his later love of wilderness was laid.

The program is a production of Diane Garey and Lawrence R. Hott of Florentine Films. They have produced twelve award-winning PBS programs, including "The Wilderness Idea" and the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Wild by Law." "John Muir, Earth-Planet, Universe" will be produced by Diane Garey and Lawrence R. Hott.

John Muir's early life is a story of immigration, of family conflict and personal discovery. Set in the landscape of 19th century wisconsin, the story takes John from his early days on a hard scrabble farm to his work as a carriage factory foreman in Indiana. It is in the factory that Muir loses his sight, and it is during his convalescence that he relives his life and decides on a new course for his future.


The film is (informally) divided into three parts. In the first part, the dramatic battle lines are drawn: the free-spirited boy John Muir is pitted against his well-intentioned but unforgiving father, and the joy of nature is John's escape from the pious solemnity of their rugged life on a Wisconsin farm in the 1850s. In the second part, John gets helps in his struggle from both his mother and from an older neighbor called the Yankee - help that helps him live with his father and learn the beautiful and just laws of the natural world. In the third part, John begins to make inventions, a skill that carries him away from the backbreaking labor of the farm, but a trick of fate shows him what he really cares about. At last he abandons mechanical science to pursue his overwhelming love of nature and God's creatures.


Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey
Florentine Films
20 Kingsley Avenue
Haydenville, MA 01039
Telephone 413 268-7934
Fax 413 268-8300