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In a Shallow Grave (1988)

When a physically and emotionally scarred soldier returns home from World War II, he mistakenly trusts a mysterious young drifter to deliver a secret love letter to his old sweetheart.

Director:

Kenneth Bowser

Writers:

Kenneth Bowser, James Purdy (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Michael Biehn ... Garnet Montrose
Maureen Mueller ... Georgina Rance
Michael Beach ... Quintus Pearch
Patrick Dempsey ... Potter Daventry
Thomas B. Mason Thomas B. Mason ... Edgar Doust
Mike Pettinger Mike Pettinger ... Milkman
Prentiss Rowe Prentiss Rowe ... Postman
Ron Rosenthal Ron Rosenthal ... Army Doctor
Muriel Moore Muriel Moore ... Mrs. Gondess
Walter Davy Walter Davy ... Doc Farmer
Jim Bynum Jim Bynum ... Reverend Spinney
Lonnie R. Smith Jr. Lonnie R. Smith Jr. ... Soldier (as Lonnie Smith)
Tom Harper ... Soldier
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Storyline

When a physically and emotionally scarred soldier returns home from World War II, he mistakenly trusts a mysterious young drifter to deliver a secret love letter to his old sweetheart.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1988 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

American Playhouse: In a Shallow Grave See more »

Filming Locations:

Craig County, Virginia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

The film was cut from 116 minutes to 92 minutes for its theatrical release due to uneasiness over the film's gay content. The deleted scenes were restored for its network television premiere on PBS in 1990. See more »

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User Reviews

Compelling Interaction on Socially Flawed Persons
8 February 2002 | by richard.fuller1See all my reviews

MIcheal Beihn is Garnet Montrose, a wounded soldier who returns from the war, horribly scarred, he now feels he is too hideous for his beloved, Ann. The only one who will see him is Quintus, played by Micheal Beach, the black worker who minds him and runs errands for him. For the early part of the twentieth century, Garnet has taken a risk and taught Quintus how to read. Enter Daventry, played by Patrick Dempsey. An aimless, wandering soul, Daventry becomes the third player in the Garnet-Ann relationship. As he tells Garnet what to write to Ann, the passionate emotion he feels within his heart, it becomes clear Daventry has fallen for Garnet. Now Daventry must deliver messages to the woman Garnet loves. This was an incredible Cyrano DeBergerac reversed story that while not having scene stealing performances, due to its subtlety, it is a compelling saga to watch unfold. Further enhancing the forbidden love is Quintus, who while at times the very amusing comedy relief, his humor is very realistic, he also makes astonishing stabs at how it is to be black in the white society. Quintus stands at the amusing moments, such as the fall from the window and the storm destroying the furniture and not the house, but he is also at one of the most poignant times as well, such as when he tells Garnet that Daventry is in love with him. Garnet refuses to believe him at first. The ending climax is a bit unclear as to what exactly happened, but the rest of the story, including the finale makes up for it. There just seemed to be nowhere else for the story to go.


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