15 user 13 critic

Country (1984)

PG | | Drama | 29 September 1984 (USA)
Gilbert Ivy and his wife Jewell are farmers. They seem to be working against the odds, producing no financial surplus. Gilbert has lost hope of ever becoming prosperous, but his wife ... See full summary »


Richard Pearce
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Lange ... Jewell Ivy
Sam Shepard ... Gil Ivy
Wilford Brimley ... Otis
Matt Clark ... Tom McMullen
Theresa Graham Theresa Graham ... Marlene Ivy (as Therese' Graham)
Levi L. Knebel Levi L. Knebel ... Carlisle Ivy
Jim Haynie ... Arlon Brewer
Sandra Seacat ... Louise Brewer
Alex Harvey Alex Harvey ... Fordyce, FHA Man
Stephanie-Stacy Poyner Stephanie-Stacy Poyner ... Missy Ivy
Jim Ostercamp Jim Ostercamp ... Cowboy
Robert L. Somers Robert L. Somers ... Grain Elevator Operator (as Robert Somers)
Frank Noel Frank Noel ... Semi Driver (as Frank Noel Jr.)
Warren Duit Warren Duit ... Preacher (as Rev. Warren Duit)
Conrad Doan Conrad Doan ... Auctioneer


Gilbert Ivy and his wife Jewell are farmers. They seem to be working against the odds, producing no financial surplus. Gilbert has lost hope of ever becoming prosperous, but his wife decides to fight for her family. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In this country, when the land is your life...you fight for your life




PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Very similar in theme to Places In The Heart, which came out the same year, and was part of the Farm Cycle of movies that came out of Hollywood in the early and mid 80s. (The River with Sissy Spacek is also part of this cycle). See more »


Around the 45-minute mark, when Jewell picks up the mail, the baby in the stroller is happy and gurgling. As the camera pans up to Jewell's face as she begins to read the letter, the sound-effect of a baby crying is heard -- though the actual baby's face is still in-frame and appears happy, as before. See more »


Tom McMullen: Listen, you owe the money, nobody forced you to borrow it.
See more »


Referenced in Shepard & Dark (2012) See more »


Epilogue and Hymn
Written by George Winston
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User Reviews

Strong, honest and intelligent.
25 April 2020 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Like "The Grapes of Wrath" before it, Richard Pearce's "Country" is about poverty-stricken farmers up against the banks and the kind of weather that could wipe them out in an instant. It may lack the poetry of Ford's masterpiece but Pearce gives it a wonderful documentary-like feeling helped by terrifically naturalistic performances from Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard. Its dramas don't feel manufactured, just as the family at its centre feel like a proper family, despite the obvious star quality of its leads. It is, in fact, the kind of film Americans do better than almost anyone else when they set their minds to it; strong, honest and intelligent and it seldom puts a foot wrong. I'm just amazed Pearce's career never really went anywhere.

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Release Date:

29 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Country See more »

Filming Locations:

Black Hawk County, Iowa, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,443, 30 September 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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