Sissy Spacek stars in this bittersweet drama about a young mother, her two sons and the mysterious benefactor who touches them all. Frustrated by her dead-end job as a telephone operator and divorced from her drunken secon... more »d husband (Sam Shepard), Nita finds comfort and understanding in the arms of a passing sailor (Eric Roberts). When he leaves, Nita resolves to pick up her boys and start a new life. But first she must confront backstabbing townspeople and the violent Triplett brothers (William Sanderson and Tracey Walker) in this suspense-tinged story of being scared, being alone, being in love and being strong enough to face the truth.« less
"I remember going to the theatre to see this film about a year after "Coal Miner's Daughter". I knew anything with Sissy Spacek in it had to be good. This film is not only good, its sensational with Sissy giving one of her finest performances. (When has she ever been anything but excellent in anything??) I can't add much to what the majority of the reviewers have said about this film. The DVD audio and video are high quality and the film is beautifully remastered. The musical score is top-notch and the forties background cannot be bettered. The supporting cast is excellent as well with Eric Roberts the standout as the kind hearted sailor, Teddy, who assumes the role of the man of the house....at least temporarily. A young Henry Thomas (before E.T.) makes his film debut here, I believe as Sissy's older son Harry. Sissy has great interaction with the children. The film is Sissy's all the way and I believe she should have been nominated for another academy award for this performance. There are many dimensions to Nina. My favorite scene in this movie may be minor but it never fails to make me feel good.....Sissy is sweeping her kitchen and turns the radio on and the Andrew's Sisters come on singing "Rum and Coca Cola" and Sissy carefree and lightheartedly gets into singing along with the music, dancing with the broom. I just love this scene!! The ending packs a wallop and I always get teary eyed. If you haven't seen this film it is worth your time and money to get it. The DVD unfortunately has no extras, no scene selection, no subtitles and is not in widescreen."
Superb acting and setting.
a viewer | 06/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is tops. One of those rare movies you can view again and again for the great acting and the photography and setting. As a story it is true to life. I grew up in a small town during that time and yes, worked on a one person switchboard! Sissy Spacek always gives a top notch performance and she is especially at home in this movie. A mother trying to care for her children and caught in the mores of the '40s and a small town. A wonderful story and wonderfully photographed."
Major underrated treasure
Hypoxy | Bath, ME United States | 03/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is superb in every imaginable way: the photography, the fidelity to the WWII era in small-town America (I know: I grew up in the 40s in a Texas town just like this one with a telephone/telegraph office-in-a-home), flawless casting, fine writing, inspired directing, mesmerizing story and breathtakingly suspenseful--then achingly tender-- denouement. (Sissy and Eric will meet again, I have no doubt.)
This is one of the very few movies I've thought worth buying to watch again & again."
Flawless acting and direction
CT | Texas | 02/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I fell in love with Eric Roberts after seeing this film. His portrayal of the jilted sailor who finds a brief ray of happiness with Sissy Spacek was teriffic - all the energy and optimism of young love shone through in his performance. If he had continued to make movies this good, he would have been a huge star.Sissy Spacek gives her usual flawless performance, creating a rich, three dimensional character. The kids in this film are absolutely wonderful.Worth getting, worth watching, and it still holds up after all these years."
A Neglected Gem
Stephen M. Moser | Austin, Texas USA | 01/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of Sissy's finest, yet most underrated performances, with her husband (Fisk) directing her in a gripping and suspenseful screenplay by William Wittliff (*Perfect Storm* and *Legends of the Fall*). This is Fisk's first as director, but as a former art director, it is beautiful in its attention to detail, and he presents his wife with the care that only a director in love with his leading lady can do. Sissy plays a telephone operator in a small Texas town during World War II, raising her two boys and keeping to herself. While fending off the frightening attentions of a couple of the local yokels, she causes a great deal of consternation by taking up with a sailor passing through. He is handsome and loving, and bonds with her children, but the story takes many turns before its shattering conclusion. A neglected gem, it is a magnificent showcase for Sissy's talent."