67 user 15 critic

The Trip to Bountiful (1985)

PG | | Drama | 24 January 1986 (USA)
In 1940s Texas, an elderly woman is determined to visit her childhood home for one last time.


Peter Masterson


Horton Foote (screenplay), Horton Foote (play)

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine Page ... Mrs. Watts
John Heard ... Ludie Watts
Carlin Glynn ... Jessie Mae
Richard Bradford ... Sheriff
Rebecca De Mornay ... Thelma
Kevin Cooney ... Roy
Norman Bennett ... First Bus Ticket Man
Harvey Lewis Harvey Lewis ... Second Bus Ticket Man
Kirk Sisco Kirk Sisco ... Train Ticket Agent
Dave Tanner Dave Tanner ... Billy Davis
Gil Glasgow ... Stationmaster Gerard
Mary Kay Mars Mary Kay Mars ... Rosella
Wezz Tildon Wezz Tildon ... Bus Passenger
Peggy Ann Byers Peggy Ann Byers ... Downstairs Neighbor
David Romo David Romo ... Mexican Man


Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940's Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish -- just once before she dies -- is to revisit Bountiful, the small Texas town of her youth which she still refers to as "home." The trouble is her son, Ludie, is too concerned for her health to allow her to travel alone and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on bus tickets. This prompts "escape" attempts each month which coincide with the arrival of Mrs. Watts' Social Security check. Then, Mrs. Watts makes a successful escape and last trip home. Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 January 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

En busca de la plenitud See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Worth, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,387, 22 December 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Carlin Glynn (Jessie Mae) is married to director Peter Masterson; they are the parents of Peter Masterson, Jr., who played the newspaper boy, and Alexandra Masterson, who played the drugstore waitress. See more »


While Mother Watts is at the bus stop you see the bus approach. The head-sign says Montrose, which is just west of downtown Houston. If you look at the terrain, it is sloped not true rolling hills, but still somewhat hilly. Houston is flat as a board. These hills are reminiscent of the Dallas/Irvine area. See more »


Mrs. Carrie Watts: I guess when you've lived longer than your house and your family, then you've lived long enough.
See more »


Referenced in Miracles & Mercies (2002) See more »


The Old House
Written, conducted and produced by J.A.C. Redford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

An Oscar for Geraldine Page
29 November 1998 | by Ralph McKnightSee all my reviews

After many tries, Geraldine Page finally won the Oscar that had eluded her for years. As Carrie Watts, she delivered a near perfect performance and on Academy Award night walked off with the coveted prize.

Earlier, she had stunned the world with her brilliant acting in Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" with Paul Newman. But 1962 was ripe with excellent female nominees including Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn and the winner that year, Anne Bancroft.

"The Trip to Bountiful" was a small, intimate film about an unhappy, elderly woman who yearns to visit her girlhood home before she dies. She has tried, unsuccessfully several times before, but was stopped by her loving son and disapproving daughter-in-law, skilfully played by Carlin Glynn as "Jessie Mae".

Once on the bus to Bountiful, Mrs. Watts meets a lovely young girl played by Rebecca De Mornay in whom she confides. Miss Page was wonderful here with every nuance, side glance and gesture. Her years of experience as a stage and film actress showed loud and clear. She was brilliant. This prompted actress, Shelley Winters to comment, "this is one of the greatest performances I've ever seen".

Scene after scene, Geraldine Page, does what few actresses can do, breathe REAL LIFE into a character. Her physical aliments and limitations are not exagerrated, but felt. Her emotional highs and lows speak volumes and you find yourself sharing her inner feelings.

Carlin Glynn deserved a nomination as Best Supporting Actress. But, I suppose the Academy members were so enthralled with Miss Page, they couldn't SEE anyone else on the screen!

The supporting cast was strong. I especially liked Richard Bradford as the Sheriff who personally takes Mrs. Watts on her "trip to Bountiful". The scene where Page peers at her old home and says "I can almost see my father walk out of this house..." was heartbreaking. Writer, Horton Foote, was obviously writing from experience and director, Peter Masterson showed compassion and respect for the script and for his actors.

Do NOT miss this one.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 67 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed