Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  15 December 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,319 users   Metascore: 75/100
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Difficult tale of poor, struggling South Carolinian mother & daughter, who each face painful choices with their resolve and pride. Bone, the eldest daughter, and Anney her tired mother, ... See full summary »



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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Glen Waddell
Aunt Ruth
Lyle Parsons
Aunt Raylene
Richard Todd Sullivan ...
Mr. Waddell
Jamison Stewart ...


Difficult tale of poor, struggling South Carolinian mother & daughter, who each face painful choices with their resolve and pride. Bone, the eldest daughter, and Anney her tired mother, grow both closer and farther apart: Anney sees Glen as her last chance. Written by Lew Jacobs <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong depiction of sexual and violent abuse, including a rape scene involving a young girl | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abuso a la inocencia  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ron Eldard spent a lot of time playing sports with Jena Malone so they would both feel comfortable performing the scenes in which he is physically abusing her. He claimed that in no scene did inappropriate contact with Malone take place, and that for scenes in which he appears to grab her by the throat, he is actually only holding her by his fingertips. Eldard was adamant that the graphic depiction of sexual abuse and rape was a necessity for the film. See more »


(00:12:57) Dermot Mulroney's character (Lyle Parsons) is driving along a road past a modern looking house with a very modern looking red truck parked in the driveway. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: "People pay for what they do, and still more for what they allow themselves to become. And they pay for it simply; by the lives they lead." James Baldwin.
See more »


Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone
Written by A.P. Carter
Performed by The Carter Family
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Perhaps the Strongest Argument Against Child Abuse Ever Filmed
25 May 1999 | by (Pleasantville, NY) – See all my reviews

This film gnawed at me. And gnawed, and gnawed. It's a difficult film to really "like", considering the subject matter, but the acting and directing were so outstanding that the film must be seen. The casting was so dead on; Ron Eldard, an actor I knew only from his role on "ER", was chillingly effective as the handsome-yet-monstrous "Daddy Glen", young Jena Malone came across as an old pro as little Bone, and I was overjoyed to see Michael Rooker, a talented and often overlooked actor, take a rare turn as good guy Earle. Also good to see Diana Scarwid get a rare role into which she could really sink her teeth. I must confess, the scene in which Earle, Wade, and Travis beat the stuffing out of Glen at the funeral had me cheering and swinging my own fists. If anyone out there - particularly women whose husbands or boyfriends have "tempers" - can watch this film and still not see the light, nothing will ever make them see. A triumph for Anjelica Huston, as well as for her cast. Is "Bastard Out of Carolina" a disturbing film? Absolutely. Is it at times graphic, even horrifying? No question. But it is also a fine piece of filmmaking, and something any true film lover should see.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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