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Director: Richard Pearce

Cast: Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, Wilford Brimley

     
 

Released in the mid-1980s, this farm drama stars Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard as Jewell and Gil Ivy, who run a small farm in Iowa that has been in Jewell's family for several generations; her father Otis (Wilford Brimley) lives with them, along with their three children. While the work is hard and the earnings are slim, the Ivys have been able to get by, like most of… See more details below

Overview

Released in the mid-1980s, this farm drama stars Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard as Jewell and Gil Ivy, who run a small farm in Iowa that has been in Jewell's family for several generations; her father Otis (Wilford Brimley) lives with them, along with their three children. While the work is hard and the earnings are slim, the Ivys have been able to get by, like most of their neighbors, until a one-two punch threatens to devastate the Iowa farming community. First, a tornado devastates the area, then the Farmers Home Administration calls in the loans on most of the farmers in the area, which they are in no position to repay. With thirty days to "voluntarily liquidate" their property, the Ivys, like most of their friends and neighbors, are desperate to find a way to hold on to their property, and when the stress causes Gil to buckle, Jewell must step in to keep the clan going. In addition to starring as Gil, Sam Shepard also contributed (without credit) to William D. Wittliff's screenplay; Wittliff was also slated to direct, but shortly after shooting began he was replaced by Richard Pearce.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
The widespread foreclosure of small family farms during the early '80s forms the backdrop for William D. Wittliff's often affecting, if essentially predictable melodrama, featuring exceptional work by Jessica Lange. With Ronald Reagan's appointment of former agribusiness executive William Brock as Secretary of Agriculture, the days of the small farmer were numbered. For Lange, who also served as executive producer, the plight of the farmers is clearly close to her heart, and the film's portrayal of a staunch matriarch desperately trying to hold her disintegrating family together occasionally evokes The Grapes of Wrath. If the scope of its social observation and depth of characterization can hardly stand comparison with the earlier film, there are moments, such as the scene of the farm's auction, and in particular a long shot at the end of a hallway of Lange and husband Gil (Sam Shepard) embracing in silhouette that John Ford himself might have appreciated. Despite having to work with characters condemned to a certain passivity, the cast does an excellent job, and Lange is at her best in a memorable, mutely expressive performance.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/09/2003
UPC:
0786936209860
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:50:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Spanish subtitles; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound; Widescreen (1.85:1) - enhanced for 16x9 televisions

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jessica Lange Jewell Ivy
Sam Shepard Gil Ivy
Wilford Brimley Otis
Matt Clark Tom McMullen
Therese Graham Marlene Ivy
Levi L. Knebel Carlisle Ivy
Jim Haynie Arlon Brewer
Sandra Seacat Louise Brewer
Alex Harvey Fordyce
Jim Ostercamp Cowboy
Norman Bennett Farmer
Conrad Doan Auctioneer
Warren Duit Preacher
James Harrell Bank Officer
John Jones Band
Ambrose Knebel Farmer
Vern Porter Longley
Robert Somers Grain Elevator Operator
Stephanie-Stacie Poyner Missy Ivy

Technical Credits
Richard Pearce Director
William Beaudine Producer
John Franco Set Decoration/Design
Charles Gross Score Composer
Ron Hobbs Production Designer
Whitey Hughes Stunts
Jessica Lange Producer
Louis Mann Production Designer
John Mansbridge Art Director
Rita Salazar Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Senechal Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Shearman Cinematographer
David M. Walsh Cinematographer
Jim Webb Sound/Sound Designer
Tommy Welsh Costumes/Costume Designer
William D. Wittliff Producer,Screenwriter
Bill Yahraus Editor

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Storm [11:41]
2. On the List [7:03]
3. Mismanagement [7:39]
4. Begging [6:47]
5. Liquidate [9:17]
6. 30 Days [6:21]
7. No Farm Loans [6:27]
8. Flat Broke [10:29]
9. Failure [8:34]
10. The Sheep Are Starving [8:24]
11. The Auction [15:53]
12. No Excuses [10:50]

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