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The Grass Harp
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The Grass Harp (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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The Grass Harp -- Based on Truman Capote's bittersweet memoir, this often-witty coming-of-age drama looks at a young man growing up with an unusual family in the deep south in the 1940s.
The Grass Harp -- After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious...


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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Truman Capote (novel)
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Grass Harp on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 October 1996 (USA) See more »
Love is a chain of love... as nature is a chain of life. See more »
After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
An Undiscovered Gem full of Wonderful Surprises and Great Performances See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Piper Laurie ... Dolly Talbo

Sissy Spacek ... Verena Talbo

Walter Matthau ... Judge Charlie Cool

Edward Furlong ... Collin Fenwick

Nell Carter ... Catherine Creek

Jack Lemmon ... Dr. Morris Ritz

Mary Steenburgen ... Sister Ida

Sean Patrick Flanery ... Riley Henderson

Joe Don Baker ... Sheriff Junius Candle

Charles Durning ... Rev. Buster

Roddy McDowall ... Amos Legrand
Grayson Fricke ... Young Collin

Scott Wilson ... Eugene Fenwick

Bonnie Bartlett ... Mrs. Buster

Mia Kirshner ... Maude Riordan
Adam Crosby ... Little Homer Honey

Doris Roberts ... Mrs. Richards

Nora Dunfee ... Mrs. Peters

Ray McKinnon ... Charlie Cool Jr

Veronica Lauren ... Young Maude
Danny Nelson ... Doc Carter
Rebecca Koon ... Macy Wheeler
Michele Bauer ... Martha Cool

Charles Matthau ... Barbershop Regular

Alex Van ... Big Eddie Stover

Emilie Jacobs ... Elizabeth Henderson
Marc McPherson ... Hotel Manager
Elizabeth 'Boo' Gilder ... Snot Nose Date
Brad Bulger ... Date
Martha M. Elcan ... Cheap Customer (as Marty Elcan)
Richie Dye ... Jack Mill
James Michael McDougal ... Ray Oliver (as J. Michael McDougal)
Rosa Tucker ... Texaco

Jenjer Vick Robin ... Mamie Curtis (as Jenjer Vick)

Margaret Scarborough ... Flo Johnson

Boyd Gaines ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wade Woods ... Man at Revival (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Matthau 
Writing credits
Truman Capote (novella)

Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) and
Kirk Ellis (screenplay)

Produced by
John Blosdale .... associate producer
Richard Connor .... associate producer
James T. Davis .... producer
John Davis .... producer
Martha M. Elcan .... associate producer (as Martha Elcan)
Kirk Ellis .... co-producer
Solomon J. LeFlore .... executive producer
Brick Mason .... associate producer
Charles Matthau .... producer
Michael Mendelsohn .... executive producer
Stirling Silliphant .... co-producer
Laura Sutton .... associate producer
Jerry Tokofsky .... producer
John Winfield .... executive producer
Susan Gee .... associate producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Patrick Williams 
Cinematography by
John A. Alonzo 
Film Editing by
Sidney Levin 
Carroll Timothy O'Meara  (as C. Timothy O'Meara)
Casting by
Steve Brooksbank 
Shay Griffin 
Mary Jo Slater 
Production Design by
Paul Sylbert 
Art Direction by
Chris Gorak 
Stan Jolley 
Set Decoration by
Daniel Loren May  (as Dan May)
Costume Design by
Albert Wolsky 
Makeup Department
Lee Ann Brittenham .... assistant hair stylist (as Lee Brittenham)
Terry Harper Dillard .... assistant hair stylist
Bob Harper .... makeup artist
Sally J. Harper .... hair stylist (as Sally Harper)
Linda Melazzo .... makeup artist: Walter Matthau
Rita Troy .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
James T. Davis .... unit production manager
Katie Willard Troebs .... production supervisor
Lisa Yesko .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Martha M. Elcan .... first assistant director (as Marty Elcan)
Todd Y. Murata .... dga trainee (as Todd Murata)
Eric Wall .... second assistant director
Art Department
Ron Abbott .... carpenter
John Balling .... scenic charge
Richard Baum .... property master (as Rich Baum)
Randy Brewer .... lead person
Jayne Browning .... painter
Mike Charbonneau .... carpenter foreman
Harold Collins .... construction coordinator
Joseph Timothy Conway .... on-set dresser
Glenn Fendley .... set dresser
Chris Gorak .... set designer
Herb Jorgensen .... carpenter
Kristina Kilpe .... assistant propmaster
Cheryl Lindsey .... art production assistant
Brick Mason .... storyboard artist
Elizabeth Meyerson .... art department coordinator
Jason Miller .... carpenter
Dane Moore .... carpenter
John Ogonoski .... carpenter
Gary Oldknow .... set dresser
Alice Persons .... assistant propmaster
Eloise Crane Stammerjohn .... buyer
Ron Wells .... carpenter
Christopher Scheetz .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Sound Department
Craig Clark .... adr supervisor
Craig Clark .... sound supervisor
Joy Ealy .... sound assistant
Thom 'Coach' Ehle .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Mike Goodman .... additional adr supervisor
Mike Goodman .... adr editor
Larry Hoki .... sound recordist
David J. Hudson .... sound re-recording mixer
Bill King .... boom operator
Bob King .... cable person
Clark King .... sound mixer
Joe Kramer .... sound editor
Colin C. Mouat .... sound editor (as Colin Mouat)
Howard Neiman .... sound editor
Jeffrey Perkins .... supervising re-recording mixer
Mark Relyea .... sound assistant
Tom Ruff .... adr engineer (as Tom W. Ruff)
Robert R. Rutledge .... foley artist
Allan Schultz .... co-sound supervisor
Allan Schultz .... sound editor
Peter Siciliano .... foley recordist
Edward M. Steidele .... foley artist
Deborah Willard .... sound editor
Gary Coppola .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Gary Pilkinton .... special effects assistant
Kathleen Tonkin .... special effects foreman
Robert Vasquez .... special effects
Robert Vazquez .... special effects supervisor
Tal Wallace .... special effects propmaker
John Moio .... stunt coordinator
Lonnie R. Smith Jr. .... stunt coordinator (as Lonnie Smith)
Camera and Electrical Department
Amy Alarian .... electrician
Richard Alarian .... gaffer
Rikki Alarian .... electrician
Nick Arnds .... grip
Gary A. Beaird .... key grip (as Gary Beaird)
Casey Campbell .... electrician
Jesse Chavez .... dolly grip
Joseph Dianda .... best boy grip (as Joey Dianda)
Steven A. Hughes .... best boy electric (as Steve Hughes)
Mark Karen .... camera operator
Michael Stewart Maahs .... grip (as Mike Maahs)
Shawn Murphy .... electrician
Gary Oldknow .... grip
Rodney Sandoval .... camera loader
Gregory W. Smith .... first assistant camera (as Greg Smith)
Jorge Sánchez .... second assistant camera
Merie Weismiller Wallace .... still photographer
David P. Shannon .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Linda Christman .... casting assistant
Mary Lynn Henry .... casting: New York
Debbie Savitt .... casting associate
Octavia Spencer .... extras casting
Barbara Bartenes-Wulff .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Paige Wilbanks .... extras casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Patricia K. Armagast .... head seamstress (as Patricia Armagast)
Susan Kowarsh .... assistant costume designer
Jennifer Lax .... wardrobe supervisor (as Jenny Lax)
Susan MacLaren .... set costumer
Robert Q. Mathews .... costume supervisor: men
Bob Matthews .... wardrobe supervisor
Amanda Zenil .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Sam Citron .... first assistant editor
Jeremy Milton .... second assistant editor
Ray Morfino .... color timer
David Parmenter .... negative cutter
Joseph Jett Sally .... first assistant editor
Ewa Zbroniec .... second assistant editor
Music Department
Martin Blasick .... source music producer (as Marty Blasick)
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor
Sue Fink .... vocal coach
Paul Fried .... musician: flute solo
Michael Kelley .... executive soundtrack producer
Shawn Murphy .... score mixer
Charles Pollard .... score engineer
Allan K. Rosen .... music editor
Patty von Arx .... music editor
Marty Wekser .... executive soundtrack producer
Diane DeLouise Wessel .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
William Baker .... driver
Rudy Beilicke .... driver
Emmett Burton .... picture car coordinator
Robert Holland .... driver
John Manning .... driver
Ken Nevin .... transportation coordinator (as Ray Nevin)
Joe Price .... driver
Teddy J. Ritchie .... driver
Hal Shelton .... driver
Jimmy Smeraglia .... driver
Hank Van Apeldoorn .... transportation captain
Keith West .... driver
Joe T. Woodard .... driver (as Joe Woodard)
Ricky Woodard .... driver
George Yarbrough .... transportation co-captain
Other crew
Catherine Battistone .... walla group
Michele Bauer .... studio teacher
Bob Bergen .... walla group (as Robert Bergen)
Sue Carter .... medic
Tim Crone .... animal wrangler
Tracey Crosby .... production secretary
James M. Crumley Jr. .... set production assistant (as Jamie Crumley)
Alex Daniels .... walla group
Cathy Dunkley .... assistant: Charles Matthau
Mick Fasano .... cook
Nina Foch .... consultant
Matt Frazier .... set production assistant
Carla Fry .... production executive
Philippe Gallichet .... chef
Patti Hawn .... publicist
Bridget Hoffman .... walla group (as Ruby Marlowe)
Ira Hurvitz .... script supervisor
Richard Jiminez .... cook
Amy Labowitz .... production executive
Lydia Lipatan-Sarmiento .... assistant accountant
Marilyn Madderom .... walla group
Alex Matcham .... production executive
Craig A. McCraw .... location manager (as Craig McCraw)
Geralyn Miller .... production accountant (as Geralyn McGah-Miller)
Cleve Nettles .... assistant to producer
Rebecca Ollinger .... location manager
Ben Ormand .... production assistant
Thomas Parris .... production assistant (as Tom Parris)
Senia Phillips .... animal wrangler
Russell H. Potter V .... office production assistant
Patricia Sammons .... craft service
Brie San Martino .... assistant coordinator
Burton Sharp .... adr group coordinator
Burton Sharp .... walla group
Ron Steadman .... set production assistant
Sheila Stroup .... animal wrangler
Laura Summer .... walla group
Michael Swafford .... first assistant accountant
Harold Uhl .... key set production assistant
Steve Uhl .... set production assistant
Frank Umbro Sr. .... accordion instructor
Nadia Venesse .... dialect coach
Elizabeth Vincent .... accounting clerk
John Woodson .... dailies sync
Jeff Yesko .... walla group (as Jeffrey Scott Yesko)
Merry Lee Traum .... assistant: Piper Laurie (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements
107 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The seventh pairing out of ten movies of comic actors and great friends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.See more »
Dolly Talbo:Love is a chain.See more »
Movie Connections:


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21 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
An Undiscovered Gem full of Wonderful Surprises and Great Performances, 24 April 2005
Author: TheFanReport from United States

Set in the 30's, The Grass Harp is a story about an orphan boy who is sent to live with his eccentric aunts. The story follows the plight of social "outcasts" with humor and insight.

On the surface this story is about love and our connections to others - both living and dead. Yet underneath run themes of social injustice, racial inequality, religion, morals and the struggles of social conformity vs. individual expression - but the film never preaches. It just reveals.

Director Charles Matthau accomplished the near-impossible task of adapting Truman Capote's classic book into a beautiful rendered film. Wisely, he approached this multi-layered story with a light touch, allowing the material and talent to shine. Matthau skillfully captures a myriad of complex relationships and emotions, allowing the characters to live and breathe without placing judgment on who they are.

The boy's coming-of-age story is entertaining, humorous and poignant. As the film unfolds, Collin encounters a diverse group of characters, from which he gains valuable insights about life. Now an adult he looks back (as the narrator) reflecting on this formative time.

Each character is uniquely distinct and true-to-life. The entire all-star cast is at the top of their game.

This is the best performance of Piper Laurie's career. She is delicate and mesmerizing as the fragile Dolly Talbo. Her scenes with Spacey and Matthau will break your heart.

For those of you who have only seen Walter Matthau in grumpy curmudgeon roles, you are in for a treat!

Matthau is wonderful as a Judge Cool, a Southern gentleman struggling to find meaning in his retirement years. As Piper Laurie's love interest he is tender and charming yet dignified. A man of integrity and honor, Judge Cool is the only "accepted" towns person with compassion for the outcasts.

As a collective, the ensemble cast captures the social pecking order with uncanny accuracy.

Jon Don Baker is great as the Sheriff, Nell Carter is a hoot as the eccentric housekeeper and Sissy Spacek is an amazing blend of steely resolve masking her conflicted feelings of vulnerability and insecurity.

Roddy McDowell is the delightfully sarcastic barber. Jack Lemmon and Mary Steenbergen are great fun as cons on the run. Mary as a traveling cowgirl evangelist out to save souls - never mind that she is a single- mother of fourteen kids…all by different fathers! She pulls it off with comic charm and sad poignancy. Lemmon is a "chemical engineer" (read quack potions salesman) with a scheme to get his hands on Dolly's herbal potion. Even though both Lemmon and Steenbergen are devious cons looking to score, they too are well-developed characters and oh-so-human in their desperate schemes to survive the Great Depression.

There is also one of the most delightful casts of furry creatures ever assembled: a host of cats, dogs, fish, and a scene-stealing Rooster named Ralph. It looked to me like Ralph was huffing around wishing he had more lines. I'd be all for him getting his own sequel.

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