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Raggedy Man (1981)

 -  Drama  -  18 September 1981 (USA)
6.8
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It's 1944 in the small town of Gregory, Texas. Divorcée Nita Longley has been brought into the town by the telephone company to work as its switchboard operator, a job which requires her to... See full summary »

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Title: Raggedy Man (1981)

Raggedy Man (1981) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Teddy
...
Bailey
...
Calvin
...
Arnold
...
Rigby
...
Harry
Carey Hollis Jr. ...
Henry
Ed Geldart ...
Mr. Calloway
Bill Thurman ...
Sheriff
Suzi McLaughlin ...
Jean Lester
Lupe Juárez ...
Crecencio the Barkeeper
Jessie Lee Fulton ...
Miss Pud
LuBelle Camp ...
Miss Beulah
James N. Harrell ...
Ticket Taker
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Storyline

It's 1944 in the small town of Gregory, Texas. Divorcée Nita Longley has been brought into the town by the telephone company to work as its switchboard operator, a job which requires her to be at the switchboard day and night. She was originally told by her boss Mr. Rigby that this job would only be a stepping-stone to a more lucrative job with regular working hours, which Mr. Rigby seems to be reneging on since he has now told her that her position is frozen due to the war. As such, Nita feels trapped by this situation. Nita lives in the telephone switchboard office building with her two sons, adolescent Harry and infant Henry. Because of her marital status, many of the townsfolk, especially the men, view Nita either with contempt or as a loose woman. One evening, Teddy Roebuck, a sailor on a four day furlough who is hitchhiking back to his home in Ardmore, Oklahoma, stops by to make a telephone call. When he learns that the reason for his trip home no longer exists, Teddy decides to... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az utolsó telefonhívás  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The meaning and relevance of this film's Raggedy Man (1981) title is that a "raggedy man" can be defined as a "a scuzzy rag-picker", a description that in the film applies to the character Bailey played by Sam Shepard. See more »

Goofs

When Henry drops the knife, it is a foot or more from the wet spot that he had been dragged through. When Calvin tries to pick it up seconds later, it is in the center of the wet spot. See more »

Connections

Features Flying Tigers (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lady's In Love With You
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
A good film. Hard to really say what genre it is.
26 October 2008 | by (Omaha, NE USA) – See all my reviews

Raggedy Man is an unusual mix of themes and styles, but maybe somehow that helps the film to work. The film has quite a lot going for it. The acting, casting, locations, and strong nostalgia are all there. And there is even a surprise twist ending that we see in so many thrillers today. Maybe the ending was a bit out of place. This just is a tough film to really put your finger on, but it basically works.

Sissy Spacek, who is as terrific as ever, plays a divorced woman working as a telephone operator in a small Texas town, and trying to raise two rambunctious little boys between phone call transfers. She desperately wants out of this job and the little town, but her boss keeps telling her she's "frozen" because a war is going on. The majority of the film does take place in 1944. Apparently changing jobs was not possible back then if you were doing civil servant type things while a war was going on. Who knows? But Spacek is stuck there in her house, and very lonely and unhappy. That is until one rainy night, a polite sailor comes to the door hoping to use her public phone. The sailor, played by a somewhat subdued Eric Roberts, learns on the phone that his girlfriend has just dumped him. With nowhere to stay before he ships out in four days, Roberts is taken in by Spacek. The two quickly discover they have feelings for one another, and this does not sit well with the gossipy small town.

Further complicating matters are a couple of local louts who have the hots for Spacek and get very jealous of the sailor. Also hanging around and peeping in windows is the "raggedy man" himself. Who is this mysterious deformed man who also seems to be taking an interest in Spacek and her boys? Well, the final twist pretty much answers that question. And this revelation is a bit difficult to swallow. The film ends somewhat violently, as the louts are dealt with. And things generally seem to be upbeat as the credits roll.

The film has some wonderful selling points. The acting is top-drawer by all involved. The casting choices were absolutely perfect. Especially in support. Tracey Walter and William Sanderson were born to play parts like the two louts. They are very recognizable character actors. If you don't immediately recognize Sanderson, just think, "I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl." Yes, he was Larry on Newhart. Look for little Henry Thomas who did this film just before E.T.. Bill Thurman of Last Picture Show fame has a bit part as the Sheriff. The town in this film looks a lot like Anarene in that film. If you were alive and recall the way things were on the home front during WWII, then this film will certainly take you back there mentally. The film is ultimately a strange cross between Summer of '42, To Kill a Mockingbird, and.... God knows what else. But somehow it all seems to work. The great cast can probably be thanked for that as much as anything. 7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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DVD questions (length + aspect ratio). Anyone see original release? MiloMindbender
good movie. see it. xnawtkaylix
Missed Ending........help! !!!!!!!! patticake16
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Carey Hollis Jr? Clint Ford
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