It's 1944 in the small town of Gregory, Texas. Divorcée Nita Longley has been brought into the town by the telephone company to work as its switchboard operator, a job which requires her to... See full summary »
A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.
When Sissy Spacek was told that she did not have the role in Heart Beat, she broke a glass of wine in her hands. The producer was so impressed by the gesture, that he ultimately gave Spacek the role. He handed her a piece of the shattered wine glass and said, "[that] clinched the deal." See more »
Near-brilliant production design and art direction; the rest is middling...
Fictionalized account of the friendship between writers Nick Cassady and Jack Kerouac, members of the so-called Beat Generation of the late 1950s. Writer-director John Byrum takes a sketchy, connect-the-dots approach to these famous people, and his opaque screenplay, adapted from Carolyn Cassady's memoirs, leaves the actors (Nick Nolte as Cassady, John Heard as Kerouac, Sissy Spacek as Carolyn) often looking as if they haven't been clued-in. There are moments when the cast and the well-realized surroundings warrant far more interest than the story or the dialogue, and that's a weak obstacle in a film about writers. The film is also extremely somber, with only bits and pieces of quirky humor (thanks to a supporting turn by Ray Sharkey) to elevate the depressive air of self-conceit. Visually impressive production, solid work from the men, but Spacek's role is underwritten. ** from ****
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