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Happy as the Grass Was Green, later renamed Hazel’s People, is a 1973 American drama film directed by Charles Davis and starring Geraldine Page, Pat Hingle and Graham Beckel. The film is one of the few Old Order Mennonite related films ever made.

Happy as the Grass Was Green
Directed byCharles Davis
Screenplay byCharles Davis
Story byCharles Davis, based on a
story of Merle Good
StarringGraham Beckel
Pat Hingle
Geraldine Page
Burt Martin Associates Production
Release date
  • 1973 (1973)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States

Most of the cast other than the aforementioned consists of genuine Pennsylvanian Mennonites. The film is based on a novel by Merle Good. For many years, the film was presented nightly at the "People's Place" in Intercourse, PA. The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online states: "The two films Amish Grace and Happy as the Grass was Green have significant insider Mennonite contributions and come closest to presenting a valid image of Amish and Mennonites".[1][2][3]

The original title of the film is taken from the poem Fern Hill of Dylan Thomas.


A Mennonite family's son is beaten to death at an unnamed NY university protesting the Vietnam War. His best friend and another college student, Eric Mills, portrayed by Graham Beckel, attend his funeral in the Mennonite country in Pennsylvania. Once Mills arrives in the small town, he connects with the simple lifestyle there and discovers the Christian faith of the Old Order Mennonites. In the end, he decides to join the small, devoutly religious community.


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