Shy People (1987)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 March 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 846 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 11 critic

New York journalist visits her distant cousin for the first time to write an article about her hard life in the bayous of Louisiana. Journalist's wild drug addicted daughter just adds to tensions between two families' cultures.


(as Andrei Konchalovsky)


(story) (as Andrei Konchalovsky) , (screenplay) (as Gerard Brach) , 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Swayze ...
Michael Audley ...
Tony Epper ...
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New York pretentious Diana Sullivan is writing a series of articles on the theme of "family" for Cosmopolitan magazine. Primarily to keep an eye on her but also because of the personal connection, Diana invites her mid-teen daughter, Grace Sullivan, to accompany her on a trip to research the next in the series, dealing with their own family, most specifically a wing that lives deep in the backwaters of the Louisiana bayou, which has been largely overtaken by oil companies of late. They are most directly connected by brothers: Diana's grandfather Mike, and Joe, the patriarch of the Louisiana wing. Diana and Grace have never met their Louisiana relations, they in turn who do not even know that Diana and Grace exist. As difficult as it becomes, Diana and Grace are able to meet their Louisiana relations, led by Joe's widowed young wife, Ruth Sullivan, who acts as if Joe is still with them, who sees anything related to the city as suspect, and who rules her household with an iron fist to ... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

bayou | independent film | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

11 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aru Hitobito  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$769,119 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Features Press Your Luck (1983) See more »


The Way We Were
Written by Marvin Hamlisch, Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Janey Clewer
Produced by Music for You Productions/Gary Tole Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

all relatives are something
12 June 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Barbara Hershey won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in Andrei Konchalovsky's "Shy People". The movie portrays a magazine writer (Jill Clayburgh) and her daughter (Martha Plimpton) taking a trip to the Louisiana boondocks to meet a distant relative (Hershey). As the movie progresses, we learn not only about the relative's various kinds of superstitions, but also about the secrets that the great uncle held, and how they relate to some current rifts in the family.

Probably the movie's best aspect is how it dignifies country people. While making it clear that these folks have some backwards notions about things - namely that the deceased man is still watching - Konchalovsky never makes them look stupid. Also, we get to see rural Louisiana (although it may have changed in the past twenty years, especially after Hurricane Katrina).

If anything mildly disappointed me about the movie, it's that I didn't get to hear more about Cajun culture. But then again, it's probably best that the movie didn't lose its main focus. I would suspect that the one boy was right when he accused the oil companies.

All in all, worth seeing.

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