Little House on the Prairie Wiki
Little House: Look Back to Yesterday (TV movie)
"Little House: Look Back to Yesterday" opening title screen


Western / Drama / Family

Directed by:

Victor French

Written by:

Vince Gutierrez


Michael Landon
Melissa Gilbert
Karen Grassle
Matthew Laborteaux
Richard Bull
Shannon Doherty
Dean Butler
Dabbs Greer
Kevin Hagen
Victor French
Melora Hardin
Stan Ivar
Pamela Roylance

Country / Language:

USA / English

Network / Production Code:

NBC-TV / 0486


December 16, 1983

Associated with:

Little House on the Prairie: The Pilot (TV movie pilot)
  • Little House on the Prairie (TV series)
  • Little House: The Last Farewell (TV movie)
  • Little House: Bless All the Dear Children (TV movie)
  • Preceded by:

    "Hello and Goodbye" (TV series finale episode, Season 9)

    Little House: Look Back to Yesterday was a two-hour Made-for-TV movie special which aired on NBC-TV on February 16 ,1983 and was, unofficialy the series finale of Little House on the Prairie, but actually, first film special in a trilogy story arc which followed the cancellation of the long-running TV series, whose final episode, "Hello and Goodbye" aired on March 21, 1983, which this movie followed up. Directed by series co-star Victor French, the film, which was written by Vince Gutierrez, aired on February 10, 1984.

    The post series film specials which followed this movie were Little House: Bless All the Dear Children, which aired on December 23, 1983, and Little House: The Last Farewell, which aired on February 10, 1984.


    Charles and Albert return to Walnut Grove to assist the farmers in starting a cooperative. During the visit, Albert begins suffering from serious nosebleeds, which he learns is a symptom of a rare – and possibly fatal – blood disease.

    In the end, he lives through the final scene holding Laura's hand at the top of the hill in front of the keepsake tree.



    • Katherine MacGregor did not appear in this episode.
    • Michael Landon and Matthew Laborteaux are credited as special guest stars in this episode.
    • In the scene where Albert comes back to Walnut Grove for the first time since his illness was revealed, and everyone is there to greet him. Melissa Gilbert confessed in her 2009 memoir Prairie Tale that she had been out drinking the night before and was still hungover as she filmed this scene. She says it's particularly noticeable when she goes to hug Albert and the camera zooms in on her face. To this day, she still feels a little guilty about it.
    • Young actress Shonda Whipple (who plays Jason's love interest Amy Bryant) is the same little girl who was in the Season 9 episode "Home Again (Part 2)" as Tami Cook.


    Albert: (about Walnut Grove) Laura, are you happy here? I mean, now that you're married and you have Rose?
    Laura: Yeah, I'm very happy. If I had it my way, I'd stay here for the rest of my life.
    Albert: Me too. I'm going to school to become a doctor, but I want to come back here. This is where life seems to be the best, not in the city, where nobody has time for one another.
    Laura: Will the future "Doctor Ingalls" be giving my family a discount?
    Albert: Oh, of course. You can pay me with one chicken instead of two.
    Charles (to the doctor about Albert): How long will the treatments take before you can get him back on his feet?
    Doctor: Mr. Ingalls, I'm sorry, but, well, there is no treatment. Albert's not going to get any better. Only worse.
    Mr. Edwards: Wait a minute, Doc. Are you trying to tell us that Albert can't be helped?
    Doctor: Yes, that's right.
    Charles: I... I don't understand. I mean, he's been fine up until yesterday. He's been a little tired, but...
    Doctor: Mr. Ingalls, Albert has had this problem for a very long time, and now we're just beginning to see the symptoms because it's getting progressively worse.
    Charles: Wait a minute, wait a minute. This blood disease I never told you before, but Albert had a problem with morphine a little while back. I think that this is maybe just an aftermath of that.
    Doctor: I don't think so. I've seen this disease in infants, as well as adults.
    Charles: Well, if you've seen it before, you're supposed to be a doctor! You know what it is! Do something about it!
    Doctor: Mr. Ingalls, I've told you...
    Charles: I don't care what you told me! You're a doctor. You went to school to learn how to save lives. Save my son's life.
    Doctor: I can't. I can't.
    Charles: I talked to Laura. She and Almanzo are making plans to come and see you before I take you home.
    Albert: Pa, I've been thinking. I want to go home, but I don't want to go home to Burr Oak. I want to go home to Walnut Grove.
    Charles: Walnut Grove? But you ought to be with your family.
    Albert: Pa, just hear me out. I've been trying to think about what I'd like to do with the time I've got left. You know, seeing some of the places I've been talking about going to see. But my mind keeps going back to Walnut Grove.
    Charles: But your Ma...
    Albert: I've been thinking about that, too. I've been thinking about Ma, and my brother, and my sisters. Pa, I don't want them to watch me die. That's all they'd be doing, watching it happen. They won't be able to do anything about it. It's better for them.
    Charles: No. They want to be with you.
    Albert: But I don't want them to be. I don't have much time left. I want to spend it doing as many things as I can. Things I used to do when I was a kid. I know it sounds selfish, but it's my last chance.
    Charles: Albert, I understand how you feel, but...
    Albert: No, you don't understand. Nobody understands how I feel but me. I know you're trying to, but you don't know. It's my time, Pa. Don't you think I have a say in what I want to do with the rest of my life?
    Laura (to Charles): I can't believe you're going along with this!
    Charles: Laura, he's going on a field trip. It's no different than anything else he's been doing.
    Laura: Well, I guess it's all right, then. I mean, if Albert wants to play baseball or stay up at Michelle's house all hours of the night, everyone just smiles and wishes him well.
    Charles: These are the things he wants to do. You know that.
    Laura: Pa, you've seen him. He looks so weak! He needs to get some rest!
    Charles: Why?
    Laura: (pause) I guess it doesn't matter what I have to say. I mean, if it's climbing up to the keepsake tree, if Albert wants to do it, then he's just gonna go right ahead and do it.
    Charles: All right, what is it you want me to do?
    Laura: I want you to tell him that he cannot climb that mountain!
    Charles: Laura, Albert is going to die.
    Laura: I know that. Why are you telling me that?
    Charles: I want him to spend the time he has left doing what he wants to do. If you had it your way, he'd spend the rest of his life in bed.
    Laura: Well, why not? It's better than watching him drain himself!
    Charles: Better for him, or better for you?
    Sarah: (when Laura is near tears because of Albert) Laura, I could finish this if you would rather.
    Laura: No, that's all right. It helps to keep busy. You know, I keep thinking this is all just a dream, and I'm going to wake up.
    Sarah: I know. Jeb and Jason haven't known Albert for very long, but that didn't make it any easier to tell them. I think it's easier for a child to accept an adult dying, but when it's somebody like Albert...
    Nancy (to Miss Plum): Could I ask Albert a question?
    Miss Plum: Well, certainly.
    Nancy: What's it like knowing you're gonna die?
    Children: Nancy!
    Miss Plum: Nancy, I don't think that's any of your business.
    Albert: Oh, it's all right, Miss Plum. I don't mind talking about it. I, um... well, first, I was scared and angry. But once I started to think about my life, I found that I made myself some wonderful memories, you know, all the good times, all the good friends. And you know, the best thing about it all is that they all took place right here, and that's why I came back because there's no better place on God's Earth. Just don't waste the time you have left. All of you. Just go out and have a good time and make yourself lots of good friends. You see, that way, when it's your time to look back and find your memories, you'll see that you won't be scared or angry, either.

    Full Film


    LHOP S10E01 Look Back to Yesterday

    Full movie

    Little House Movies
    Look Back to Yesterday | Bless All the Dear Children | The Last Farewell

    External links