18 user 3 critic

Independence Day (1983)

Mary Ann Taylor loves the comforts of her hometown in Mercury, Texas. She has a steady job as a waitress in her father's diner, yet she can't help but feel unfulfilled by a life of pouring ... See full summary »


Robert Mandel


Alice Hoffman
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Quinlan ... Mary Ann Taylor
David Keith ... Jack Parker
Frances Sternhagen ... Carla Taylor
Cliff De Young ... Les Morgan
Dianne Wiest ... Nancy Morgan
Josef Sommer ... Sam Taylor
Bert Remsen ... Red Malone
Richard Farnsworth ... Evan
Brooke Alderson Brooke Alderson ... Shelly
Noble Willingham ... Andy Parker
Anne Haney ... Rose Parker
Judith Brown ... Janis (as Judy Brown)
Jeff Polk Jeff Polk ... Billy Morgan
Zachary DeLoach Zachary DeLoach ... Joey Morgan
Scott Simpson ... Youngest Morgan Child


Mary Ann Taylor loves the comforts of her hometown in Mercury, Texas. She has a steady job as a waitress in her father's diner, yet she can't help but feel unfulfilled by a life of pouring coffee and grilling hamburgers. Mary Ann's real passion is photography, but pursuing her dream of becoming a photographer means leaving Mercury behind. Despite her desperation to expand her horizons, Mary Ann hesitates to leave because of her mother's declining health and because of her new romance with Jack Parker. Jack is a mechanic who just returned to town after realizing the cruelties of the outside world. He experienced big-city living first-hand and wants nothing more than to settle down back home. But Jack and Mary Ann soon find that cruelties exist in their own little town when Jack discovers that his sister Nancy is being brutally beaten and routinely abused by her husband Les. While Jack struggles with how to help Nancy, Mary Ann is faced with a crucial choice about her future: stay in ... Written by skillwithaquill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A small town is a hard place to have a big dream.


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

9 September 1983 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Riders on the Storm See more »

Filming Locations:

Anson, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,685, 23 January 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$151,462, 31 December 1984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Cheryl Smith's final film. See more »


Nancy Morgan: Strange. I feel tired all the time.
Mary Ann Taylor: Well, it's the Valium.
Nancy Morgan: Yeah.
[pauses, shakes her head]
Nancy Morgan: No. It's a different sort of tired. It's... um... inside my bones. And it's real deep. Inside my bones.
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User Reviews

OK drama with an outstanding performance by Dianne Wiest
21 January 2006 | by GMJamesSee all my reviews

On the IMDb message board of The Sweet Hereafter, a writer asked users what was the most bone chilling moment in a film. I mentioned the little seen, small town drama Independence Day (a.k.a.: Follow Your Dreams, and not to be confused with the 1996 sci-fi blockbuster). Although Kathleen Quinlan and David Keith were the leads, I thought their somewhat interesting but not very compelling small-town romance was overshadowed by a subplot that could have been a main story in another movie.

As Keith's suicidal and physically-abused sister, Dianne Wiest gave a heartbreaking performance. The dramatic decision she makes that directly affects her abusive husband (Cliff DeYoung, who also does a great job with his despicable character) and indirectly affects the lead characters, definitely chilled my bones.

Weist's performance here was three years before her first of three supporting Oscar nominations, with 2 wins for Hannah and Her Sisters and Bullets Over Broadway.

Although I had mixed feelings for Independence Day, I would recommend checking out the movie for Dianne Wiest's outstanding supporting performance.

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