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.



(book), (screenplay)

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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
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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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.
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Referenced in The Making of 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Rawlings, The Early Years
15 October 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Film fans best know the work of Marjorie Kiniston Rawlings through the adaption of her best known work The Yearling and the later filming of an original story for the screen in The Sun Comes Up. Cross Creek is our opportunity to look inside the mind and character of the woman who was the creator of these classics.

As played beautifully by Mary Steenburgen, we meet Rawlings during the Twenties as a woman with a passion to go to the land and a burning desire to write. She's been submitting potboiler romance novels to publishers who keep telling her to reach for her soul in her writings.

Steenburgen divorces her husband and moves to some Florida swamp land which she by dint of her own hard work and the help of neighbors, she turns into a decent patch for an orange grove. One of them, storekeeper Peter Coyote, evinces more than a neighborly interest.

It's her letters from her town of Cross Creek that excite Steenburgen's potential publisher, Malcolm McDowell, the simple lives and dignity of her neighbors with all their flaws. Especially neighbor Rip Torn and his family, they become the models for the characters in The Yearling.

Cross Creek earned Academy Award nominations for Rip Torn as Best Supporting Actor and Alfre Woodard playing a black woman who Steenburgen takes in and works for her. Cross Creek also got nominations for Best Music Score and Costume Design. Why Mary Steenburgen wasn't nominated for Best Actress is a mystery.

One really ought to see Cross Creek back to back with The Sun Comes Up which was Rawlings original work for the screen and was Jeanette MacDonald's last film. Seeing Cross Creek puts a lot of The Sun Comes Up in context with MacDonald's character and with how Rawlings is interpreted by Steenburgen. Both films will take on a new dimension if anyone has not seen the other.

Cross Creek is one excellent piece of film making about the genesis of a great American writer.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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