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Cross Creek (1983)

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In 1930's Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings moves to Florida's backwaters to write in peace. She feels bothered by affectionate men, editor and confused neighbors, but soon she connects and writes The Yearling, a classic of American literature.



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Title: Cross Creek (1983)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Norton Baskin
Ellie Turner
Mrs. Turner
Floyd Turner
Toni Hudson ...
Tim's Wife
Bo Rucker ...
Charles Rawlings
Tommy Alford ...
Postal Clerk
Norton Baskin ...
Man in the Rocking Chair
Terrence Gehr ...
Store Keeper


In 1930's Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings moves to Florida's backwaters to write in peace. She feels bothered by affectionate men, editor and confused neighbors, but soon she connects and writes The Yearling, a classic of American literature.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The true story about the woman who wrote "The Yearling"! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 October 1983 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Cross Creek - Ich kämpfe um meine Freiheit  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the time the film was made and released, lead actress Mary Steenburgen was married to actor Malcolm McDowell, who appears uncredited in the film as Max Perkins. The pair had met during the production of Time After Time (1979) during the late 1970s and had got hitched on 29th September 1980 (and later were divorced on 1st October 1990). See more »


[first lines]
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: [voiceover] My journey to maturity began in New York, in 1928. I was married to Charles Rawlings, the newspaper man and yachting enthusiast. I had been trying to write stories that I thought would be most likely to sell - gothic romances were extremely popular - and I had written dozens. I was desperate to express myself. Even as a child I'd been consumed with the desire to be a writer.
See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

One of My Favorite Movies...
5 March 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

No, I don't think Cross Creek will ever be put up there with Kane or Casablanca, but for some reason I made a connection with this movie the first time I saw it 20 years ago, and it remains one of my favorite films even today.

Every creative person goes through the struggle to find their voice, and Cross Creek is about a city-bred writer who runs away to the country to live an ascetic life with her typewriter. She expects her isolation and alienation to "prod the muses" but instead finds these new people and this new land to draw her in until they and it become the soul of her writing.

The natural, understated tone of the film allowed for a human resonance I've rarely seen in mainstream Hollywood fare. And while Mary Steenburgen and Peter Coyote are perfectly fine, Rip Torn and Alfre Woodard's performances absolutely floored me. They respectively brought Marsh Turner and Geechee to life with such abandon and clarity, it's some of the finest acting I've witnessed on film, period.

I revisit Cross Creek every few years and it always holds up stylistically (Leonard Rosenman's score is timeless). Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings symbolizes America itself, in my opinion, so concerned with pleasing its own, yet progressively exposed to a foreign world that ultimately will shape its real identity.

It's a universally human story and, like I said before, I really connect with this little film, and appreciate Director Martin Ritt's courage in making it the way he did. I can't guarantee that others will necessarily feel the same way, but I always recommend Cross Creek to friends, be they creatives or not.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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