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Dallas: J.R. Returns

Dallas: J.R. Returns is a 1996 American made-for-television drama film and is the first of two Dallas reunion films, produced after the series went off the air in 1991.[1] It originally aired on CBS on November 15, 1996,[2] and was rerun as part of TV Land's salute to 50 years of Warner Bros. Television.

Dallas: J.R. Returns
Dallas JR Returns VHS cover.jpg.png
UK VHS cover
Based onCharacters created by David Jacobs
Written byArthur Bernard Lewis
Screenplay byLeonard Katzman
Directed byLeonard Katzman
StarringRosalind Allen
Christopher Demetral
Patrick Duffy
Linda Gray
Larry Hagman
Omri Katz
Deborah Kellner
George Kennedy
Ken Kercheval
Audrey Landers
Tracy Scoggins
Theme music composerJerrold Immel
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Lee Rich
Leonard Katzman
Rich Heller
Larry Hagman (co-executive producer)
Patrick Duffy (co-executive producer)
CinematographyDon Reddy
Editor(s)Fred W. Berger
Running time120 minutes
Production company(s)Warner Bros. Television
Eagle Point Production
Olive Productions
Original networkCBS
Original releaseNovember 15, 1996 (1996-11-15)
Preceded byDallas
Followed byDallas: War of the Ewings

Plot summaryEdit

The cliffhanger ending of the 1991 Dallas series finale is resolved. The gunshot J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) fired was at the mirror, not himself (despite there being no sound of shattered glass when he pulled the trigger).

Five years later, J.R. is in Europe, while Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) lives at Southfork Ranch alone with his son Christopher (Christopher Demetral), happily out of the oil business, and Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) now owns Ewing Oil.

Bobby, conscious of the fact that Southfork is now almost empty, considers selling it. Meanwhile, Cliff decides to sell Ewing Oil to WestStar Oil, a giant oil conglomerate headed by J.R.'s other nemesis, Carter McKay (George Kennedy). J.R. hears this and decides to try to regain his position. He appeals to Bobby to get back in business together and buy Ewing Oil back but is rebuffed. J.R. arranges for Afton (Audrey Landers) to be put in a sanitarium so Cliff can't find her.

J.R. learns of a provision in Jock Ewing's will where Jock left J.R.'s son, John Ross (Omri Katz), stock in the computer company Cyberbyte. The provision states that John Ross is only to receive this stock upon the death of his father. Since John Ross is unaware of his inheritance, J.R. decides to sell some of this stock and buy shares to take over WestStar. He sells the stock portfolio and buys a controlling stake in WestStar Oil. To cover his tracks, J.R. rebuys the stock and reinstates the provision, saying that if anyone finds out about the incident, he will claim that they were released to John Ross Ewing Jr. (J.R.) instead of his son (full name John Ross Ewing III) in a clerical error.

To set this in motion, he fakes his death and has his attorney "accidentally" put the shares in his name instead of his son's. Bobby holds a memorial service, with John Ross and Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) attending and Cliff in quiet celebration, believing he's won the ultimate victory over J.R. until J.R. returns to Southfork. He claims to have been kidnapped and escaped. Sly is disgusted and resigns as J.R.'s assistant.

J.R. is the majority shareholder in WestStar, and he uses that clout to force McKay to back out of buying Ewing Oil. After being sent a letter notifying him of his daughter's whereabouts, Cliff decided that finding his family is more important than beating J.R., but Bobby figured out a way that Cliff can have both, and he bought Ewing Oil. Bobby later realizes that he was tricked back into the oil business by J.R., who knew getting Bobby off Southfork would force him not to sell. J.R. maneuvered the board to remove McKay as Chairman of WestStar and for himself to take his place.

An unhappy Bobby sells half of the company to his new partner, Sue Ellen. A drunken and bitter Sly (Deborah Rennard) had tipped off Sue Ellen that J.R. faked his own death. Sue Ellen suspected this all along and felt that J.R needed to be taught a lesson. Cliff, meanwhile, greets Afton and their daughter Pamela (Deborah Kellner) outside the sanitarium, and they leave to be a family.

In the last scene, John Ross asks J.R. why he is smiling even though he lost Ewing Oil to Bobby and Sue Ellen. J.R. points out that Bobby is back in the oil business and is no longer going to sell Southfork. Sue Ellen is back at Southfork to stay, and John Ross will remain in Dallas to learn the oil business from J.R. John Ross realizes that his father planned everything to work out this way. J.R.'s last words are, "You see, John Ross? You're learning already."


Dallas: J.R. Returns was a ratings success for the CBS Network, and ranked 14th place for the week it was shown, with a 13.4 rating.[3] Its success prompted Warner Bros. to produce a reunion miniseries for the Dallas spin-off series Knots Landing (entitled Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac) in 1997. A second Dallas TV movie, War of the Ewings, was produced in 1998.


As with War of the Ewings (1998), the events depicted in J.R. Returns are ignored for the revival series, which premiered on TNT in 2012.


DVD releaseEdit

Warner Home Video released Dallas: J.R. Returns on DVD April 12, 2011 as part of the Dallas: The Movie Collection 2-disc set.[4]


  1. ^ Mink, Eric (14 November 1996). "J.R. Reprises That Ol' 'Dallas' Malice". Daily News (New York). Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: Dallas: J.r. Returns". November 11, 1996. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
  3. ^ Curran, Barbara A. (2003). 25 Years of Dallas. United States: VBW Publishing. p. 369. ISBN 1-58939-583-2.
  4. ^ Lambert, David (8 February 2011). "Dallas - Package Art - Front and Rear - Finally Arrives for 'The Movie Collection' DVDs". TVShowsOnDVD.Com. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2012.

External linksEdit