Square Dance (1987)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  March 1987 (USA)
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Gemma is 13 years old lives with her grandpa in the country, she has for many years. One day her mother shows up, and wants to take Gemma to the city. Her mother is married now, and can ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Deborah Richter ...
Guich Koock ...
Elbert Lewis ...
Charlotte Stanton ...
J. David Moeller ...
Dub Mosley
Dixie Taylor ...
Preacher Dixon
Barbara Britt ...
Miss Lawson
Drunk Cowboy
Dee Pyland ...
May Tompkins
Gwen Little ...
Doreen Hadley


Gemma is 13 years old lives with her grandpa in the country, she has for many years. One day her mother shows up, and wants to take Gemma to the city. Her mother is married now, and can provide for Gemma. Gemma goes with her mother. In the city she gets to know Rory, an mentally disabled boy. They play together, imagining that they are married. Written by Eva Kristin Berntzen <eva@himolde.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Home Is Where the Heart Is  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$225,358 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was the opening night film at the 1987 Sundance Film Festival. Winona Ryder attended the premiere, which screened at the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City. See more »


Written by Davlon J. Rost
Performed by The Bayou Band
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User Reviews

Hard to change
22 August 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Square Dance is a film short on plot, but long on character, kind of like an O'Neil work of which one of the stars here Jason Robards, Jr., is most familiar. A lot of the hopelessness of Eugene O'Neil is prominent among these people.

If there's a lesson to be learned it's that we make our life choices early and it's hard to change. Jason Robards is a hardbitten old man who has a few acres of farm land on which he raises his granddaughter Winona Ryder who is a most naive young girl having drunk fully from the teachings of the fundamentalist church they belong to.

It was her mother who after she had Ryder left home. Now however Jane Alexander is married to Guich Koock who owns a service station and has come back for Ryder.

Jane and Gooch live in Fort Worth and the relative sophistication of Fort Worth is too much for Ryder. She forms a friendship with Rob Lowe who is cast in the most offbeat role of his career, a good looking but developmentally disabled young man. He has a gift for music and plays the violin strictly by ear.

Simply what happens is that Alexander and Ryder are just too different to get along. And her relationship with Lowe ends in a near tragedy.

In his recent memoir Rob Lowe says he took the part to extend his range and show he is more than capable of being the Eighties 'It' boy as he described himself. Square Dance may have been the first time he's attempted a broadening of the range, but in the years since he's not been a teen heart throb, he's met a number of acting challenges successfully.

Ryder was all innocence and shine in Square Dance which was her breakthrough part as well. In fact the whole ensemble performed well in this most unknown of Rob Lowe films.

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