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The Trip to Bountiful (1985)

PG | | Drama | 24 January 1986 (USA)
In 1940s Texas, an elderly woman is determined to visit her childhood home for one last time.



(screenplay), (play)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Norman Bennett ...
First Bus Ticket Man
Harvey Lewis ...
Second Bus Ticket Man
Kirk Sisco ...
Train Ticket Agent
Dave Tanner ...
Billy Davis
Stationmaster Gerard
Mary Kay Mars ...
Wezz Tildon ...
Bus Passenger
Peggy Ann Byers ...
Downstairs Neighbor
David Romo ...
Mexican Man


Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940's Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish -- just once before she dies -- is to revisit Bountiful, the small Texas town of her youth which she still refers to as "home." The trouble is her son, Ludie, is too concerned for her health to allow her to travel alone and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on bus tickets. This prompts "escape" attempts each month which coincide with the arrival of Mrs. Watts' Social Security check. Then, Mrs. Watts makes a successful escape and last trip home. Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 January 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En busca de la plenitud  »

Box Office


$7,466,662 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Upon presenting the Best Actress Oscar to Geraldine Page in 1986, presenter F. Murray Abraham declared, "I consider this woman to be the finest actress in the English language." See more »


While Mother Watts is at the bus stop you see the bus approach. The head-sign says Montrose, which is just west of downtown Houston. If you look at the terrain, it is sloped not true rolling hills, but still somewhat hilly. Houston is flat as a board. These hills are reminiscent of the Dallas/Irvine area. See more »


Mrs. Carrie Watts: I don't know of anything prettier, than a scissortail flyin' through the sky!
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The Ride to Bountiful
Written, conducted and produced by J.A.C. Redford
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Standing Ovation
28 April 1999 | by (New Hampshire) – See all my reviews

I knew nothing of this film, the night of the Academy Awards, but what I always remember about that Oscar night, is the moment they announced Geraldine Page as the winner for Best Actress ... the entire audience gave her a standing ovation. You just don't see that very often on Oscar night - not unless it's something special. That really impressed me. So I had to see what it was all about.

Well, Geraldine Page, put on a clinic in this movie. She is incredible. I just can't say enough about her performance, so I won't even try. You will just have to see it.

It is great to know that a spectacular movie can still be made with a simple but strong story line. No violence, no foul language, no special effects. Pure raw emotion,a big heart, the music and the beautiful photography carried the entire film. If you ever find yourself looking for a simple but magnificent story ... this is it. And don't rent it - buy it!

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