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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Carlin Glynn (Jessie Mae) is married to director Peter Masterson; they are the parents of Peter Masterson, Jr., who played the newspaper boy. 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 »
The effects of the aging process is touchingly portrayed by Geraldine Page in this warm human drama set in rural Texas in 1947.
Carrie Watts (Page), now a lonely widow, is being taken care of by her son, Ludie (John Heard) and his wife Jessie Mae (Carlin Glynn) in a cramped two-room apartment in Houston.
The two women spend all of their time being irritable to each other while Ludie is caught in the middle. Though trying admirably to do the right thing by the two women in his life, the situation is tense.
Carrie yearns to return to the family farm where she grew up, hoping to recapture some of the happiness of her youth. She has even tried to run away a few times, only to be stopped by her son and daughter-in-law who, in spite of their differences are only trying to spare her the disappointment of what she may find.
Her hometown, Bountiful, now basicly no longer exists. The people just "used up the land and moved on". All that remains are a few abandoned and deteriorating buildings, including her childhood home. Nevertheless, Carrie finally succeeds in slipping away.
On the way, she meets a young wife, Thelma (Rebecca DeMornay), whose husband is overseas in the military behind enemy lines. As they converse, it is obvious they are both on a quest, Carrie to recapture her youth and Thelma to hold on to hers, not knowing if she will ever see her husband again. Until he returns, she is going back to stay with her parents. The two women form a bond and find each other a source of strength on the long bus ride. Though we hope for Thelma's eventual happiness, somehow we know that only disillusionment awaits Carrie in Bountiful.
Filmed as a play with the advantages of outdoor scenery, the entire cast and crew did a splendid job, presenting a difficult subject in a tasteful manner. Page won an Oscar in what was to be her last role shortly before her death. Besides the other supporting players, Richard Bradford was also outstanding as the compassionate Sheriff who helped Carrie obtain her goal. The period pieces, all of those old 40's automobiles and the architecture and scenery, the general "feel" of small-town Texas during that era, helped add to the realism of the film. THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL should be recognized as a national treasure.
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