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Convicts (1991)

 |  Drama  |  6 December 1991 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 431 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

In 1902 Texas, 13-year-old Horace goes to work on old Soll's farm to earn enough money to buy a headstone for his father's grave. Unfortunately for Horace, Soll's senility, ill health, and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Soll Gautier
...
...
Ben Johnson
...
Martha Johnson
...
Asa
Calvin Levels ...
Leroy
...
Billy
Mel Winkler ...
Jackson
...
Sherman Edwards
Bob Edmundson ...
Overseer (as Robert Edmundson)
John McConnell ...
Guard #1
Jerry Biggs ...
Guard #2
Martin F. Schacker ...
Guard #3
Walter Breaux Jr. ...
Singing Convict
Tony Frank ...
Sheriff
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Storyline

In 1902 Texas, 13-year-old Horace goes to work on old Soll's farm to earn enough money to buy a headstone for his father's grave. Unfortunately for Horace, Soll's senility, ill health, and obsession with the convict labor he uses to work the farm, make it unlikely that Horace will ever be paid the $12.50 Soll owes him for 6 months work. Written by JeanneArmintrout@juno.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

6 December 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horton Foote's Convicts  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Soll thinks he hears someone in the closet he shoots three times and we see three bullet holes. But when Jackson opens the closet door to investigate, there are four holes. See more »

Quotes

Ben Johnson: Cane Land it was called once. Cane it'll be again.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Lily Dale (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It was cane land once, and it'll be cane land again.
11 December 2009 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Convicts" is very much a third act sort of film. All the dialogue and character interaction that occurs within it comes out of the long wind-down of a late southern day. And, by extension, the life of its main character, Soll (Robert Duvall).

This is the first collaboration of director Peter Masterson and writer Horton Foote. Six years earlier, the worked together on "The Trip to Bountiful", a film that seems almost action-packed in comparison to this one. Masterson is not necessarily a good director. In fact, he's just barely this side of adequate. The slow pace leaves a lot of room for cinematographer Toyomichi Kurita, who infuses the film with just the right sense of fragile light & warmth.

Because this is essentially a filmed play, with little in the way of editing or directing prowess, it all comes to the acting. As far as I'm concerned there's no flaws here. Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones, two of the best American actors (both born in January 1931), create characters that are wholly real, uninterested in anything besides living. Lukas Haas, a young actor who I was familiar with from "Testament" and "Witness", plays a character very much like his other early roles. He is quiet, withdrawn, slightly scared and sad, somehow. These are qualities that seem natural from him.

Perhaps a title like "Convicts" is a disservice to this film. That title, along with the opening scene, seem to create an image of a far more high-strung western type picture. If slow-paced stage productions don't interest you terribly, you'll want to pass on this one as well. Otherwise, this might be exactly the film you wish they made more often.

Enjoy.


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