This is the poignant story of Mrs. Watts, an aging widow living with her son and daughter-in-law in a three-room flat in Houston, Texas. Fearing that her presence may be an imposition on others, and chafing under the watchful eye of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Watts imagines that if she can get away and return to her old home in the town of Bountiful, she is sure to regain her strength, dignity and peace of mind. So she attempts to run away, and when she reaches a bus station on the last part of her short journey, she falls into the hands of a sheriff whom her son and daughter-in-law have put on her trail. The sheriff, a kindly fellow, allows her to complete the final stage of her journey, so she proceeds to Bountiful and makes a lonely pilgrimage to the scene of her old home. Only too soon she learns that the friends of her youth have all died or scattered, and her home is no longer the spacious mansion of her memories but a crumbling wreck. But she has the supreme satisfaction of plunging her hands into the strength-giving earth, and this leaves her with a sense of that strength and dignity that will give her the courage to survive. When her son and daughter-in-law appear on the scene to take her back to Houston, she consents to return quietly, secure in the knowledge that the remainder of her existence will be enriched as a result of her last contact with Bountiful.
First presented on television and then produced on Broadway. "…the rarest of theater experiences, an evening which will prove an indelible memory…Horton Foote has done, and done beautifully, the one thing it is important for a playwright to do. That is, provide the disciplined material for expert actors to completely capture an audience and hold it through the evening." —NY World-Telegram.