Scorchers (1991) Poster


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Basically a play put on film -
jrome-42 March 2005
and once you've accepted that then you are fine. Acting as a curtain between scenes are cuts to a camera zooming over a bayou. That said, this is one of my favourite films.

Erotic though it is not. The main topic of the film may be sex but this is more of a psychological exploration than a bit of light porn. If you have rented this film for a night of risqué entertainment then I can see why you might be bored but this would be a problem of marketing more than anything else.

The acting is excellent - especially the scenes between Dunaway, Elliot (it was one of his last films), Jones and Tilly. The music is great as well.

Of course my family crawled from the bayous themselves so that would explain some of my affection for the film but I still highly recommend that everyone see this at least once just for the scene in the local bar which is brilliant. No explosions or special effects but just some really well crafted dialogue being delivered by some very good actors.
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Worth a first, and second, look
debra-ward26 January 2005
This is a wonderful movie that my husband found by accident on a movie channel one night several years ago. He said "I have no idea what I'm watching, but it's great" We both were hooked and have been fans ever since. The movie isn't a conventional anything -- it's hard to categorize, and that may be why it hasn't received the attention it deserves. I'm glad it's finally coming to DVD.

Excellent cast portraying odd, but very human and gentle people. Not a love story, but it's certainly about love, and lust and belonging. It also has one of the best father/daughter relationships I've ever seen depicted. Honest even down to the mixed emotions a parent feels when their daughter becomes a grown, sexual person. Funny and warm, its one of the few movies that my husband and I agree on wholeheartedly.
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Most inspiring movie I've seen
sophia1jg28 December 2004
I've held Scorchers as my favorite movie since it came out in 1991. I was only 13 at the time of it's release and I have held it dear to me for fourteen years.I adapted the script for the stage as an educational project in 1999 to earn my directing degree. I know every word from every character and I still feel deeply moved and laugh heartily with every screening. The tone and rhythm of the language alone is worth the time. Characters have depth and simplicity, acting is detailed, with subtle moments carefully placed. Direction is fantastic: it's laden with great cinematography and extensive brilliance in regard to honesty, authenticity and commitment. Be ready to experience the hunger of life!
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chriswarren3 February 2005
Resembles a stage play. I have only watched it about 15 times in the past few years. The more it is watched, the more it becomes relaxing and comfortable. Unlike the action packed style that we have become used to, this movie does not move at a rapid pace. Very laid back. All of the actors do a fine job. The viewer soon discovers that there is no way to prepare for, and "know" what is going to happen next. After having visited the area, this appears to be based on real people, in real life situations. Answers a few questions that stay in the back of your mind, that you would never ask. Like any work of art, if you don't like it the first time, watch it again. Eventually, it will ease up on you. Like the swamp gator.
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highly recommended
ndcoder21 July 2005
This movie really took my wife and I by surprise. It starts with a long session of a talking head. I was immediately turned off by this format. However, I continued to listen and found myself hooked. How many directors or writers can make a talking head not only hold your attention but have me riveted to the screen.

We found what I took to be a look at Cajun culture and philosophy to be a beautiful story about love, lust, and family relationships. We now own this DVD and have watched it several times. It is sad to think that this film did not do well at the box office. Most of the our favorite films died at the box office.
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Mr Beaird, have I got an idea to have it on DVD?
jpdegaspar24 August 2004
Just to keep this alive. If you haven't seen the Europe version of the movie you have missed something really great and special: a five minutes speech of Leland Crooke looking directly to the camera during a long and slow traveling in one single take in which he scratches the surface of magic. The kind of magic you are about to see. Scorchers is a wonderful movie but I am afraid we won't watch it again as it doesn't seem the producers are going to commercialize it on DVD. Maybe only if mister Beaird makes a major hit movie and becomes a major selling director some greedy executive will think about making a DVD of it: "Scorchers, from the director of Beyond The Limits of the Limits" and, maybe only in this one case, greed will become something to be grateful of.

Mr Beaird, if you ever read these pages be merciful. You must have a copy of your movie. Digitalize it WITH the Leland Crooke beginning and hang it on the web. You know they'll never make it on DVD.

Besides, if I am wrong, don't you think that we, the bunch of fans of your movie are not buying it the very day of release, even if we already have it from the internet?

I have been looking for your movie for seven years, since the first time, which was the last time, I saw it on TV. I never succeeded...

You are our last chance! we can't see NTSC in Europe, I don't understand German as it is Germany the only country of the continent where they sell it! I don't even understand English enough not to miss a very important part of the dialogues! I need subtitles!

We Know you won't fail us. You'll hang it or you'll make the smash hit Beyond The Limits of the Limits, just for the greedy executive solution (like Peter Jackson did with The Lord of the Rings to allow the fans having the Bad Taste DVD)

But in case you couldn't, just leave a message right here and I will start German lessons or get myself a green card and I'll make my living in the USA just to have the pleasure of watching your movie again (after the G W Junior's administration, of course)

Thank You
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Excellent movie - a must see before u r too old...
Barmaley1 June 1999
This is an excellent film and a must see when you are still in your early twenties! The roles played by a cast of excellent actors represent not so much traditional characters but rather TYPES leaving in this small Louisiana town. To enjoy the action of the film watch it a few times, and pay attention to the tiniest details and motives of the narration.

Look how much there is to look out for:

Love and lust - what a great tragic comedy in the lines of Emily Lloyd and Jennifer Tilly...

Love and talent for sale - Faye Dunaway is at her best!

Vision of art as a miracle, something that escapes your grasp - Denholm Elliott and James Earl Jones should have got and Oscar for their dialogues and dancing :-)

And finally, there is that great theme of life and death, justifying and reconciling both over the smoky waters of the Yellow River...

On the whole, this film can be interpreted as an excellent essay about love of life and a fight for both of them in the lines of a great calling that everyone should seek.

Mahler's music is in romantic contrast with the zesty country rhythms of the Scorchers county. So what is it so special about it?
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Scorchers is one of a kind
jezia7316 January 2006
For those that really know great film this is one that you might appreciate. Scorchers is one of the best movies that I have ever seen. The beginning of the film just drew me in and had me captured with the haunting air of the ambient sound in the back ground. Actually the whole movie had a glow that reminded me of when I spent a summer in Georgia. Next the beautiful Emily Lloyd played her part well as the bride that is nervous about her wedding night and has to overcome her problem. There are also many wonderful character in this film that one has to watch it in order to fully understand it's beauty. I have to say this is a must see for it's humor, it's love and it's originality. I wish that more films could capture me in it,s web as this one has. I have been waiting forever for this fantastic film to go to DVD, unfortunately it seems that this will never be. All that I can hope for is for the director to one day become famous enough that the world might know of this wonderful film that will stay with me always.
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Fairly unknown movie with great acting and involved plot
noskcire18 January 2001
Thank you Kalina, (above). This is a great movie. It is about the discovery of life and meaning. The father, Jumper has become a favorite of mine as he takes his daughter through a grief process worthy of any psychologist. The interplay of the lives of people in a small town, and their discoveries of who they can be is a model for anyone who feels stuck or trapped. The humor is wonderful, the acting of James EArl Jones, Denholm Elliot, Emily Lloyd, Leland Crooke, and Faye Dunaway is beyond compare. I guess if you didn't like this movie, you just don't know how to go around corners. Too bad!!
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one of the best movies I've ever seen
kalina13 October 1999
Excellent acting, not only by the Big Names...James Earl Jones, Denham Elliot, Faye Dunaway, and Jennifer Tilly give excellent performances... but also by Leland Crooke, who has become a personal favorite of mine because of this movie. It's hilarious, intelligent, beautifully shot and directed, and it's about how people really are. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
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The most hilarious, heartbreaking, and lovely movie I've seen in a long time
brunhilda_zim11 March 2001
I love this movie. I think it has a really strong message about love and commitment which you don't see a lot these days. You don't often come across a movie that advocates abstaining from sex until you're married. I think the character of Jumper is a very perceptive and sympathetic guide through the twists and turns of love. I love this movie and I wish to tell everyone out there to listen to Jumper when he says 'whatever you done swum in believe
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I found this movie to be intriguing
saltysunflower196523 February 2005
I found this movie to be intriguing. Not what you normally expect from these actors.Jeniffer Tilly for instance does not play her normal bimbo sex kitten. Faye Dunaway still gorgeous enough to portray her rival and James Earl Jones less of his dignified self but perfectly fills his characters shoes. While the action sometimes seems to be moving slowly there is still enough mystery to make you wonder what is going to happen next.I have thought about this movie off and on since renting it and have been trying to purchase it but could not remember the name. True, it is not an edge of your seat movie but definitely thought provoking.
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One very nice picture about a father, a daughter, an unusual wedding night problem and some issues about being married.
tragapizzas23 January 2004
This picture was a nice surprise. I saw it in 1994 and still can remember the warmth of the language, the smooth narrative timing and the nice feeling of the story. And I'm not taking about James Earl Jones, Faye Dunaway and Denholm Elliot in the local bar (or tavern). Faye Dunaway at her best in years, and all the dialog between Denholm Elliot (the local drunk) and James Earl Jones (the bartender) are delightful. Jennifer Tilly gives an extraordinary performance. The director, David Beaird, has a skill to direct actors. The beginning of the film is also something I remember as exceptional. If you have the chance to see this picture, do it.
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Great unnoticed movie
stephen11 April 2002
This was a movie that I had never heard of despite the great cast. I am delighted at finding it. I thought the relationships were deep and real, the dialogue witty and clever, and the performances convincing.

I recommended this move to several friends and they all thought it was great as well. I highly recommend this. Perhaps it is not for all viewers: mature audiences only.
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You've never experienced Cajun culture until you've seen this.
dozhde23 May 1999
I used to live in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Acadian culture is unique and beautiful, however learning what is in the minds and lives of cajuns is near impossible. David Beaird has done the impossible. Perhaps he is cajun, nonetheless he has allowed the outside world in. James Earl Jones delivers the best performance I've ever seen. Keep an eye on Jumper (Leland Crooke) as he is you personal tour guide through the madness that is true Acadian thinking.
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It takes you around corners
HS Payne8 August 2013
For those who love music, Tennessee Williams' plays, and want to see a drama about life, then this is for you. Beaird has written an engaging script and placed it in the hands of acting masters. "Aaaaaaaaack" is the first line uttered by the booming bass voice of James Earl Jones. Yet, it may as well had been Hamlet's conversation with the Ghost with all of the emotion and intensity the one syllable conveyed. Bear and Howler's diatribe on Mahler's Number 5 sets the stage for both stories beautifully. Jumper adds that unique Cajun wisdom only found in the Acadian wilderness. I find it sad that this film has gone virtually unnoticed. Such gems are rare, at best. Watch with an open heart and mind, and you will regret it. For the next year, you will search for your own copy, and drive your friends crazy as you beg them to see it.
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My Favorite Movie Ever
quixote-2014 March 2009
A character study worthy of anything Tennessee Williams ever made... Jumper's opening soliloquy makes a point I live by - "anything you yourself done swum in - believe"... amazing performances by people you already know to be outstanding actors and actresses.. and a few people performing FAR above anything you would have believed them capable of.. life lessons delivered with clarity and wit seldom matched... with entertainment value to boot! A glimpse into a life we seldom see, with life lessons we all need to learn. What more can be said? If you don't "get" this movie, I don't understand you at all! This piece is presented as a three act play, easily adapted for the stage but just as easily demanding more of it's actors than anything I've ever had the pleasure of performing in.. the previous reviewer created a stage piece of this - can I get a script? Thanks!
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Highly underrated
Leszek517 March 2008
I watched today this movie having real pleasure. I have never seen for a long time such mixture of hilarious humor and serious drama. Once you laugh loudly, one minute later you may have tears in your eyes. Main characters are excellent, Fay as 50 years old prostitute is marvelous, James Earl Jones plays the way we did not used to - simple, not too clever bartender. I was very surprised, why this movie is so underrated, 5,5 is much too low score. But I have checked it closer and I understood. This is movie understandable for women, they give very high scores close to 9. But guys mainly do not appreciate this firm. Big mistake. I can feel some atmosphere of "Steel Magnolias" in "Scorchers".
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Why Cajun Country rocks
goldenlith27 August 2007
This movie is a coming of age story that speaks of bayou life. Nothing like feeling at ease in ya own skin and while watching this movie I felt like I was home on the Mississippi and ready to eat dirty rice and then dance the night away while eating crawdads and drinking shirley temples. You want a small catch in the bayou ways, watch dis here movie, 'cause I tell you what I say, dis one is true true good. I miss my slang country, my small swamp, my childhood in the tall pines and the thick oaks. This movie always take me home. Denholm elliot is very very funny. Jennifer tilly has the perfect smoky voice for her role, and Faye Dunaway has sweet charisma.
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An overlooked gem!
richard-41220 August 2006
This is the best, overlooked, unknown film I know of. There is something very charming, amusing, cultural, and very American about it. Almost Denholm's last film and he is terrific. Other standouts are Faye Dunaway who never looked or performed better, and Leland Cooke, who makes you cry in a scene that, just slightly miss-handled, could have been simply silly. A great, strong cast all around. Don't blink or you'll miss Luke Perry. There is something very "play" like about this films construction. I didn't see anything that indicated that it was originally a script for the stage so I believe it was the director's stylistic choice. Having said that someone should take it up as a stage play, making it one of the handful that have been derived from films. Perhaps then this story and characters would get the attention they deserve. Great music also!
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A terrific ensemble movie
n-david-blocher12 April 2016
As pointed out above, the interplay between Denholm Elliott and James Earl Jones is a small masterpiece. It is Leland Crooke as the father of the bride who steals the whole show --- wondered why he was not in more movies and found that he appears to play this same character no matter what movie he is in and Cajun Fathers-of-the-Bride are probably not being cast all that often. However, the parson, and Tilly as the cuckolded wife give some of those actors best performances as well.

Get another movie enthusiast and settle down for a terrific evening.

I have this movie on LaserDisc but have never seen in available on DVD. If you have a source, I would tell friends.
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Heavily underrated and a must watch for those who love cinema.
varunshaky5 July 2014
It's heavily underrated. It's likely that you might have missed the opening monologue if you have watched it on a DVD or VHS. Try to see the original one, it sets the mood which then is abruptly interrupted by the proceedings in the town. Gentle shock I will say. Not much of a critic, but Scorchers is one of the best 'entertaining' Dramas I have seen on screen.

It is okay that the movie didn't win any major award as it didn't have any elaborate screenplay. It would fall short on most other categories as well. However, I am not sure why any of the actors didn't win any major award. Just look at the cast and you will know what I am talking about. You will fall in love with Splendid (Emily Lloyd) for sure.
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must see movie , great cast
crazycoldwaterroger5 June 2014
must see movie . watched movie about 25 times. everybody I showed movie to enjoyed. must see for cast alone. great music . well directed . very good editing of story line. film has twist and turns. would have loved to see movie in ready from start for characters to weave good story till the end. strong core of actors to see. Faye Dunaway very potent role. James earl Jones gives great performance.a young Jennifer Tilly is very strong in her role. would love to say more about the movie but would give away the storyline. you will watch this movie over and over to catch all angles of story. the story is very much like the swamps of legendary scenes.
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to jpdegaspar
pepeka-124 January 2007
I too was born in Madrid, Spain and now live in the USA and was happy to read your comment until the last statement, you had to go political, so shall I, Please stay in Espana and learn German, if you are like the rest of the country that voted in Zapatero because of your lack of spine when confronted in the war on terror, we don't need any more spineless people here, we need backbone and courageous individuals here. You may not agree with decisions made here and according to the polls, you may be right in so, but one thing that begins to irk some folks when reading comments from other individuals concerning MOVIE reviews is when they poke in their own political views without regard. Pepeka
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Bad is an understatement
artwk28 January 2006
I began to watch this movie after taping it on TV, and was simply astounded. The producers have performed a miracle, by somehow persuading talented and famous actors to take part in a piece of trash that would be jeered off the stage if written and presented by a group of retarded amateurs.

The long opening monologue was tedious, but it came as a surprise that it had no bearing on anything that followed. I admit that I didn't watch every scene and hear every word, as I was often forced to fast-forward by the long-winded and feeble dialogue. Even then, the bedroom scenes appeared to go forever.

My heart went out to the actors, who must surely have been painfully embarrassed. Presumablt y they signed a contract before they saw the script, if one could call it a script. But like true professionals (at least the four or five who could act) they slugged on to the end.

To sum up, it was like 1920's slapstick without the wit. In fact maybe it would be less tedious if it were screened without the sound. My advice: dodge this one and hire "Pass the Ammo."
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