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Crimes of the Heart (1986) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Three sisters with quite different personalities and lives reunite when the youngest of them, Babe, has just shot her husband. The oldest sister, Lenny, takes care of their grandfather and is turning into an old maid, while Meg, who tries to make it in Hollywood as a singer/actress, has had a wild life filled with many men. Their reunion causes much joy, but also many tensions.

  • When they were children, the now adult Magrath sisters moved to Hazelhurst, Mississippi to live with their grandparents after their father abandoned the family. Their mother subsequently hung herself and that darned yellow cat in the basement, the incident making the national headlines, leaving the girls under the care of their grandparents. Lenny Magrath, the oldest, still lives in the house taking care of ailing Granddaddy, the house which is next door to that of their first cousin, stuck up Chick Boyle, who seems to think the scandal of the suicide affected her socially more than anyone else. A frumpy spinster with little experience with men, Lenny is largely the forgotten or ignored one. Meg Magrath, the middle sibling, is the narcissistic wild child, who left for Hollywood to pursue a singing career, which is not going as well as she would like those at home to think. Growing up, she generally got what she wanted as the extroverted one and arguably because she was the one who found Momma in the basement. "Who" she wanted was Doc Porter, who now walks with a limp due to an incident with Meg but Doc who would probably come running back to her if she returned despite being married. Becky Magrath - Babe in more casual circumstances - is the youngest. She married at eighteen to now lawyer and state senator Zackery Botrelle, and being taken care of all her life has led to her being like a big kid. Despite Meg being the one who found Momma, Babe is the one who thinks about the why behind Momma's suicide the most. Meg is called back to Hazelhurst upon the news that Babe shot Zackery, he recovering in the hospital from the stomach wound. Babe doesn't deny shooting him - she actually aiming for his heart - although she refuses to tell anyone, including her young lawyer, Barnette Lloyd, why she did it. In not only dealing with Babe's situation but also their individual issues, the dynamic between the very different but still loving sisters plays into what happens.

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