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Places in the Heart (1984)

PG | | Drama | 5 October 1984 (USA)
In the Deep South in the 1930s, a widow and her family try to run their cotton farm with the help of a disparate group of friends.




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Won 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yankton Hatten ...
Gennie James ...
Wylie (as Devoreaux White)


Edna Spalding finds herself alone and broke on a small farm in the midst of the Great Depression when her husband the Sheriff is killed in an accident. A wandering black man, Moses, helps her to plant cotton to try and keep her farm and her kids together. She also takes on a blind boarder, Mr. Will, who lost his sight in the first World War. She must endure storms and harsh labor to try and make her mortgage payment on time. Written by Susan Southall <stobchatay@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a woman fighting for her children, for her land, for the greatest dream there is...the future.




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En un lugar del corazón  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$34,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actress Gennie James was cast as Possum Spalding after the initially cast little girl couldn't stop crying when the cameras were rolling. The two girls were actually friends in their hometown of Navasota, Texas. See more »


A scene in the kitchen shows iron skillets and other cookware. It's all gray. Only new iron cookware is gray. After it's been used, if only for a month or two, it turns black. See more »


[first lines]
Edna Spalding: [seeing her daughter's doll at the dinner table] Possum, put that up now.
Royce Spalding: Our Heavenly Father, bless this meal and all those who are about to receive it. Make us thankful for Your generous bounty, and Your unceasing love. Please remind us, in these hard times, to be grateful for what we have been given, and not to ask for what we can not have. And make us mindful of those less fortunate among us, as we sit at this table with all of Thy bounty. Amen.
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Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.76 (2005) See more »


In The Garden
Words and Music by Austin Miles
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User Reviews

One of my favorite all-time films
29 February 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the movie that gave Sally Field a much-deserved Oscar. This is also the film that gave Danny Glover and John Malcovich their first major exposure to the public. They are great in their respective supporting roles, sometimes making you laugh, other times wince with pain, other times empathize completely. See where they are now! The photography and music is perfect, especially the totally appropriate church songs. Set in a small central Texas town during the Depression, this film shows what a complete lie is perpetuated by "Gone With the Wind" and its depiction of the "happy cotton-picking slaves" prior to the Civil War. Edna Spaulding (Field), who has led a relatively sheltered life until tragedy suddenly strikes and uproots her entire family life as she has known it, must endure what the "happy" slaves once endured for years. And the final scene -- well, there is no way to say anything about it to keep from ruining it, other than: It comes totally unexpected. Roger Ebert didn't like it because it didn't fit with the rest of the movie. I couldn't disagree more. Roger often misses the point of a movie's ending. This is one scene that I could watch over and over, and it makes me tear up every time. At its core is a deeply held spiritual belief that transcends all other concerns. This is a must see movie! Make sure you see it with your kids!

29 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I played Possum... gennie-james
two immiscible story chatur_420
so what exactly happened when Sally delivered that line at the Oscars? Phoenix1982
Confusing ending...? bossyheifer
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Romantic Relationship? Huh? AidanGreenwich
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