I am hoping to find the name of a movie about an indentured servant. It is set in colonial America. It was on television in the early 80’s and may have been a made-for-tv movie. It was probably made in the late 70’s or very early 80’s. It’s possible it was made earlier than that, but certainly not after the mid 80’s.
The servant is a young white man with about shoulder length dark hair that he sometimes wore in a low ponytail (like Ben Franklin). I think he wore a loose white shirt and dark pants throughout the movie, sometimes with a dark coat on. The actor looked a little like Kit Harrington (Jon Snow on Game of Thrones) but was always kind of dirty.
He is working on a farm that is owned by a cruel man. There are other servants on the farm, and they seem too shy or scared to befriend him.
One scene that stands out is when he is milking a cow, he squirts a few streams of milk into his mouth. A woman servant sees him do this and reports him to the farmer. This is considered stealing and for it he is whipped with a rope with knots in it. There are close ups where he is unbuttoning/untying his shirt contrasted with someone tying knots in the rope in preparation for this.
Later in the movie, he is so unhappy he runs away and lives in the forest. I think a young boy finds him there and helps him live. The farmer considers him dead and sells his indenturment to another man–perhaps the young boy’s grandfather? When the servant learns of this he returns to finish his servitude.
I welcome any suggestions or hints people have! Thank you!