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||IMDB Rating: 7.3/10 from votes
||Release: 7 March 1985 (Netherlands) /
||Director: Robert Benton,
||Stars: Amy Madigan, Bert Remsen, Danny Glover, De'voreaux White, Ed Harris, Gennie James, Jay Patterson, John Malkovich, Lane Smith, Lindsay Crouse, Ray Baker, Sally Field, Terry O'Quinn, Toni Hudson, Yankton Hatten
||Synopsis: Edna Spalding finds herself alone and broke on a small farm in the midst of the Great Depression when her husband the Sheriff is killed in an accident. A wandering black man, Moses, helps her to plant cotton to try and keep her farm and her kids together. She also takes on a blind boarder, Mr. Will, who lost his sight in the first World War. She must endure storms and harsh labor to try and make her mortgage payment on time. Written by Susan Southall <[email protected]>
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When Robert Benton wrote and directed Places in the Heart he created
his own Citizen Kane. Like Orson Welles he will spend the rest of his
life trying to better it and won't succeed.
Places in the Heart takes place in Waxahachie, Texas in 1935 and our
director was born there in 1932. The film is a personal vision of his
childhood in that small Texas town. It bears a whole lot of resemblance
to To Kill a Mockingbird, except that the adult protagonist is not a
widower lawyer, but the widowed wife of a sheriff left to fend for
herself after her husband is killed.
Benton creates his characters with a loving hand, but that does not
mean he doesn't see the flaws in the people there, the racism, the
sexism, the hypocrisy and the pettiness. Field's husband, Ray Baker, is
killed by a drunken black man accidentally. Killing a law enforcement
official probably would have gotten him legally executed in any event,
but the town administers its own brand of justice to the perpetrator.
That being said, it still doesn't solve the problem of a woman who has
no education or training to support herself and her family. Sally gets
the idea to grow cotton on the few acres her husband left her and gets
a pair of strange allies in John Malkovich and Danny Glover to help
Glover is an itinerant hobo who is the one who if he knows anything
knows cotton from his sharecropping background. He's who really holds
the family together in the crisis. John Malkovich is a blind man whose
brother-in-law is unctuous town banker, Lane Smith, who essentially
dumps him on Field because he doesn't want to care for him. Malkovich
who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor proves to be a faithful
Lindsay Crouse was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as Field's
sister. There's a subplot in the film involving her and her
philandering husband Ed Harris.
Robert Benton won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and was
nominated for Best Director and Sally Field won her second Oscar for
Places in the Heart. Her character isn't as feisty as her first Oscar
winner, Norma Rae, but Edna Spalding certainly has the same grit.
Period country and gospel music make up the soundtrack for Places in
the Heart. Old line Protestant hymns Blessed Assurance begins the film
and In The Garden is the theme for the surreal ending.
I can't describe the ending except that it is one of the most beautiful
in the history of cinema. It's a vision of what promise we have either
in heaven or a utopia we make on earth where the things that divide
humankind are washed away and we are in fellowship with each other and
You have to have a heart of diamond if you are not moved by Places in
Tags for Places in the Heart Full Movie
, Bert Remsen
, Danny Glover
, De'voreaux White
, Ed Harris
, Gennie James
, Jay Patterson
, John Malkovich
, Lane Smith
, Lindsay Crouse
, Ray Baker
, Sally Field
, Terry O'Quinn
, Toni Hudson
, Yankton Hatten
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