Edna Mae Macaulay experiences the afterlife for a brief time after a car accident that kills her husband. As she begins her long process of physical healing, she discovers that she has the ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cal
...
Esco
...
John Harper
...
George
Pamela Payton-Wright ...
Margaret
...
Joe
Eva Le Gallienne ...
...
Kathy
Madeleine Sherwood ...
Ruth (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
Richard Hamilton ...
Earl Carpenter
...
Suzy Kroll
...
Don
...
Ellie
...
Hank Peterson
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Storyline

Edna Mae Macaulay experiences the afterlife for a brief time after a car accident that kills her husband. As she begins her long process of physical healing, she discovers that she has the ability to heal physical infirmities. While most people simply accept her gift, her lover (Sam Shepard) becomes mentally unbalanced and dangerous because she does not place the healings within a religious context. Written by Michael Cieslak <mcieslak@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is a line between life and death. Edna McCauley crossed over that line and came back. Now no one she touches will ever be the same. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der starke Wille  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Eva Le Gallienne. See more »

Quotes

Edna Mae McCauley: [Turning down an offer to have her healing ability tested] What's going on here has to do with people and feelings and not wires and machines. I dunno, it just doesn't feel right to me".
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank the people of Shiner, Texas for their cooperation during the production of this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Polly Wolly Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on a harmonica
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User Reviews

 
Hauntingly affecting in its simplicity
10 April 2003 | by (Arlington, VA) – See all my reviews

I can't believe anyone would see this film for anything more than it is: a study in the demands of social expectation/responsibility and personal integrity/commitment. The beauty of the film is that these issues are seamlessly laid out and left open to debate. Perhaps it is not the "perfect" script by the standards of McKee or Field, but it is a script which advances according to its premise, that power is something one doesn't ultimately always have control over, be it personal or public power. The healing power that Burstyn acquires becomes both the road to salvation or the road to damnation.

I believe it is one of Burstyn greatest performances. I believe every one of the supporting roles works beautifully to the advance the story, without being tritely melodramatic. (Think Elmer Gantry, which remains a great film in spite of its melodrama.)

And I will always remember the final scene as one of the most honestly affecting moments in my film experience. Few scenes have played so simply and purely to my memory... yes, it tugged the heart strings, but which one of us in her shoes would not have done the exact same thing.

If you haven't seen this film, it is one of the best, purely as entertainment. But it is also a deeply arresting and thought provoking film about human nature and the unexplainable.


17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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