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Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  15 December 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,289 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 60 user | 14 critic | 11 from

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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Title: Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)

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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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 »


Right Or Wrong (I'll Be With You)
Written by Wanda Jackson
Performed by Wanda Jackson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jena Malone's superb performance near perfection
28 September 2000 | by (Bolivia) – See all my reviews

Knowing that the movie deals with the multiple abuse of a young girl, I first read a long interview with Jena Malone, who plays 10 year old Bones, about her role in the movie and the relationship with both her mother and the film crew. I was assured that she is a strong girl and understood the role she played.

When she was little Bones' own daddy swings her around and around in a beautiful scene by a lake. There are sparkles on the water and in her eyes. But tragedy takes her daddy away, and for, what must have been a few years, she sits in the back of her car cuddling her little sister and waiting for her mother to get off shift at the cafe she worked at. Her mom gets married to a man who is pathetic, and at the same time angry, violent and ultimately a monster of cruelty to little Bones. Early on, he sexually abuses her in the car as they wait outside the hospital for her mother to give birth. Jena Malone played her part to perfection. Her pain, crooked smile, perfect cracker accent, defiance and fear drilled itself into my heart. I could feel her hopelessness and at the same time the flashes of joy when she was free to sing, as well as the love and protection she felt for her little sister.

The relationships between the characters were fully developed. While I cheered when Bones' stepfather was beat up, I still had a hard time hating him as much as I should. Bones' mother, although a sympathetic character who loved her babies, I may not forgive, at least from the time she carried Bones out of the hospital.

Altogether a ten star movie.

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why wasnt the director arrested? biggnidogg
Did the mom go back to the molestor??? brooks2165
Disgusting! Ron kisses poor Jena !! inconvulsions
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