IMDb > Places in the Heart (1984)
Places in the Heart
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Places in the Heart (1984) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 7 | slideshow)


User Rating:
7.3/10   7,666 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Benton (written by)
View company contact information for Places in the Heart on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 October 1984 (USA) See more »
The story of a woman fighting for her children, for her land, for the greatest dream there is...the future.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 11 nominations See more »
(77 articles)
22 Deserving Oscar Contenders From the First Half of 2016
 (From Variety - Film News. 24 June 2016, 11:08 AM, PDT)

The Smackdowns Are Coming!
 (From FilmExperience. 8 June 2016, 10:49 AM, PDT)

Hello, My Name is Doris
 (From Trailers from Hell. 6 June 2016, 8:29 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Our Own Blessed Assurance Of A Beautiful Garden Of Fellowship See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sally Field ... Edna Spalding

Lindsay Crouse ... Margaret Lomax

Ed Harris ... Wayne Lomax

Amy Madigan ... Viola Kelsey

John Malkovich ... Mr. Will

Danny Glover ... Moze
Yankton Hatten ... Frank Spalding
Gennie James ... Possum Spalding

Lane Smith ... Albert Denby

Terry O'Quinn ... Buddy Kelsey

Bert Remsen ... Tee Tot Hightower

Ray Baker ... Sheriff Royce Spalding

Jay Patterson ... W.E. Simmons

Toni Hudson ... Ermine

De'voreaux White ... Wylie (as Devoreaux White)

Jerry Haynes ... Deputy Jack Driscoll
Lou Hancock ... Dispossessed Lady Living in Car
Shelby Brammer ... Ruby
Norma Young ... Beauty Shop Customer
Bill Thurman ... Homer
Jim Gough ... Leroy
Cliff Bruner ... Otis
Arthur Pugh ... Dove Haslip
Matthew Posey ... Eugene
Shanna Shrum ... Rosalie Lomax

Gregg Brazzel ... KKK Man #1 (as Greg Brazzell)
Lynn Covey ... KKK Man #2
Randy Fife ... KKK Man #3
Vernon Grote ... KKK Man #4
Ned Dowd ... KKK Man #5
Paul Nuckles ... KKK Man #6
Lynn D. Lasswell Jr. ... Preacher
J.C. Quinn ... Texas Voice #1 (voice)
Robert Schenkkan ... Texas Voice #2 (voice)

Trey Wilson ... Texas Voice #3 (voice)
Bascom Newman ... Farmhouse Dance Voice (voice)
Paul Goodwin ... Mr. Cheeves
Connie Grandell ... Mrs. Cheeves
William J. Welch ... Narrator, 'Trent's Last Case'

Directed by
Robert Benton 
Writing credits
Robert Benton (written by)

Produced by
Arlene Donovan .... producer
Michael Hausman .... executive producer
Original Music by
John Kander 
Cinematography by
Néstor Almendros 
Film Editing by
Carol Littleton 
Casting by
Howard Feuer 
Jeremy Ritzer 
Production Design by
Gene Callahan 
Art Direction by
Sydney Z. Litwack  (as Sydney Z. Litwak)
Set Decoration by
Derek R. Hill  (as Derek Hill)
Lee Poll 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Paul LeBlanc .... hair stylist
Bob Mills .... makeup artist
Yolanda Toussieng .... hair stylist
Production Management
Richard Brick .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Dreyfuss .... second assistant director
Joel Tuber .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jack Eberhart .... property master
Roger Irvin .... construction coordinator
Peter McGuire .... assistant to property master
Bill Iiams .... general foreman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Clint Althouse .... boom operator
Louis Cerborino .... sound editor (as Lou Cerborino)
Richard P. Cirincione .... supervising sound editor (as Richard Cirincione)
Randall Coleman .... assistant sound editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
Jay Dranch .... adr editor
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
Richard Friedlander .... apprentice sound editor
Lindsey Hicks .... apprentice sound editor
Michael Jacobi .... supervising adr editor
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... assistant sound editor
Bitty O'Sullivan-Smith .... assistant sound editor
Peter Odabashian .... sound editor
James Pilcher .... production sound mixer
Fred Rosenberg .... assistant sound editor
Maurice Schell .... sound editor
Jeffrey Stern .... assistant sound editor
Harry Peck Bolles .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Calvin Joe Acord .... special effects (as Cal Acord)
Visual Effects by
Bran Ferren .... special visual effects
Mitch Wilson .... optical effects
Paul Nuckles .... stunt coordinator
Bobby Porter .... stunt double
Sharon Schaffer .... stunt double
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Connors .... best boy
Bob Hall .... second assistant camera
Robert Horne .... first assistant camera (as Bob Horne)
Dan Lerner .... camera operator
Philip C. Pfeiffer .... director of photography: second unit
Robert T. Prate .... best boy (as Robert Prate)
Tom Prate .... key grip
Richard Quinlan .... gaffer
Don Reddy .... photographer: second unit
Zade Rosenthal .... still photographer
Stephen J. Shiekman .... video playback operator
Greg Coelho .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Arthur Krauss .... camera operator (uncredited)
Brian H. Reynolds .... grip (uncredited)
Kerry Rike .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Barbara Blanchette .... extras casting coordinator
Mary Anna Dennard .... casting: Texas (as Mary Anna Austin)
Rody Kent .... casting: Texas
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mary Malin .... assistant to costume designer
Silvio Scarano .... costumer
Mort Schwartz .... costumer
Editorial Department
Norman Buckley .... assistant editor
Rachel Cline .... post-production coordinator
Bruce Pearson .... color timer
Jill Savitt .... first assistant editor
Barbara Tulliver .... assistant editor
Location Management
Lynn Covey .... location coordinator
Lee R. Mayes .... location manager (as Lee Mayes)
Mark Schotte .... location coordinator
Kurt Wehrs .... location scout (uncredited)
Music Department
Howard Shore .... additional music producer
Transportation Department
Al Milligan .... transportation captain
Other crew
John Brittain .... production assistant
Brian Cowden .... period car coordinator
Walter Crespo .... film layout
Dick Dubuque .... production auditor
David Evans-Lombe .... production assistant
Rebecca Hilliard .... assistant production office coordinator (as Beccie Hillard)
Ingrid Johanson .... production office coordinator
Sondra Lee .... consultant to Mr. Benton
Lois Lipfield .... assistant: Mr. Benton
James R. Maceo .... production assistant (as James Maceo)
Roy McBride .... wind effects
James Pullen .... period car coordinator
Anne Rapp .... script supervisor
Ken Rinker .... dance coordinator
Henry Wolf .... title designer
Rebecca Wood .... assistant production office coordinator
Mark Buesnel .... production assistant (uncredited)
Bundy Chanock .... set medic (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
111 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
Continuity: When the children run out of Mr. Will's room (after playing his phonograph), Frank leaves the desk lamp on. When Mr. Will discovers the record is scratched, the lamp is off. Since he is blind, he would not have used, or changed, the lamp.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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004)See more »
In The GardenSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
38 out of 42 people found the following review useful.
Our Own Blessed Assurance Of A Beautiful Garden Of Fellowship, 14 August 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

When Robert Benton wrote and directed Places in the Heart he created his own Citizen Kane. Like Orson Welles he will spend the rest of his life trying to better it and won't succeed.

Places in the Heart takes place in Waxahachie, Texas in 1935 and our director was born there in 1932. The film is a personal vision of his childhood in that small Texas town. It bears a whole lot of resemblance to To Kill a Mockingbird, except that the adult protagonist is not a widower lawyer, but the widowed wife of a sheriff left to fend for herself after her husband is killed.

Benton creates his characters with a loving hand, but that does not mean he doesn't see the flaws in the people there, the racism, the sexism, the hypocrisy and the pettiness. Field's husband, Ray Baker, is killed by a drunken black man accidentally. Killing a law enforcement official probably would have gotten him legally executed in any event, but the town administers its own brand of justice to the perpetrator.

That being said, it still doesn't solve the problem of a woman who has no education or training to support herself and her family. Sally gets the idea to grow cotton on the few acres her husband left her and gets a pair of strange allies in John Malkovich and Danny Glover to help her.

Glover is an itinerant hobo who is the one who if he knows anything knows cotton from his sharecropping background. He's who really holds the family together in the crisis. John Malkovich is a blind man whose brother-in-law is unctuous town banker, Lane Smith, who essentially dumps him on Field because he doesn't want to care for him. Malkovich who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor proves to be a faithful friend.

Lindsay Crouse was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as Field's sister. There's a subplot in the film involving her and her philandering husband Ed Harris.

Robert Benton won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Director and Sally Field won her second Oscar for Places in the Heart. Her character isn't as feisty as her first Oscar winner, Norma Rae, but Edna Spalding certainly has the same grit.

Period country and gospel music make up the soundtrack for Places in the Heart. Old line Protestant hymns Blessed Assurance begins the film and In The Garden is the theme for the surreal ending.

I can't describe the ending except that it is one of the most beautiful in the history of cinema. It's a vision of what promise we have either in heaven or a utopia we make on earth where the things that divide humankind are washed away and we are in fellowship with each other and our Maker.

You have to have a heart of diamond if you are not moved by Places in the Heart.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (51 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Places in the Heart (1984)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Tee tot and Ermine machorne
I was confused in the beginning. jawebster2000
two immiscible story chatur_420
I played Possum... gennie-james
I'm so confused (ending spoilers, hopefully) cassondragordon
So...what's so great about this film? (Spoilers) joe-809
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Gone with the Wind The Night of the Hunter Giant In the Heat of the Night To Kill a Mockingbird
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.