6.1/10
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18 user 9 critic

Miss Firecracker (1989)

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0:30 | Trailer

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Carnelle isn't happy with her life, so in order to improve herself she enters a local beauty contest, trying to emulate her cousin Elain's win many years ago. Few think she can win, even ... See full summary »

Director:

Thomas Schlamme

Writers:

Beth Henley (play), Beth Henley (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Holly Hunter ... Carnelle Scott
Mary Steenburgen ... Elain Rutledge
Tim Robbins ... Delmount Williams
Alfre Woodard ... Popeye Jackson
Scott Glenn ... Mac Sam
Veanne Cox ... Tessy Mahoney
Ann Wedgeworth ... Miss Blue
Trey Wilson ... Benjamin Drapper
Amy Wright ... Missy Mahoney
Kathleen Chalfant ... Miss Lily
Robert Fieldsteel ... Tommy Turner
Greg Germann ... Ronnie Wayne
Avril Gentles Avril Gentles ... Mrs. Biggs
Bert Remsen ... Mr. Morton
Angela Turner Angela Turner ... Caroline Jefferson
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Storyline

Carnelle isn't happy with her life, so in order to improve herself she enters a local beauty contest, trying to emulate her cousin Elain's win many years ago. Few think she can win, even her closest friends and relatives (e.g. slightly mad cousin Delmount) think she's heading for a big disappointment, but Carnelle is ever hopeful, seeing a win as a ticket to escape her small town in Mississippi. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An explosive comedy!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 1990 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

En jente med glød See more »

Filming Locations:

Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,293, 28 April 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$646,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Delmount Williams: Please, don't make me treat you like dogs. I don't want to treat you like common dogs.
See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

The movie is not the play.
17 April 2000 | by meigieSee all my reviews

I might have enjoyed this movie more had I not already been very familiar with The Miss Firecracker Contest, the award-winning play on which the screenplay is based. The play is as neat and compact as the film is muddled and overblown. I loved the play and was disappointed to see that some of my favorite elements were changed for the film. The play is set in Brookhaven, MS, has a cast of six, and plays like a symphony with recurring themes and a distinct rhythm. The film moves the action to Yazoo City, a somewhat more industrial setting, so it loses some of the "southern charm" of the play. The film shows us the other contestants, the audience members, and various other members of the community. This "carnival atmosphere" distracts us from the core issues of the play, which are Carnelle's relationship with her family and her need to find her place in the world. Although I feel that Alfre Woodard did a stellar job in portraying Popeye Jackson, this role was originally written as a very backwoods white girl. The change to a black character made it impossible to keep the very sweet romance between her and Delmount in the screenplay. In the film, Elaine, played marvelously by Mary Steenburgen, displays a certain mean streak which is absent in the play.

In conclusion, Miss Firecracker is a very well-acted but overly busy adaptation of a beautifully succinct play about a very eccentric southern family. I recommend the movie for the performances of Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen, Tim Robbins, and especially, Alfre Woodard. I also recommend reading or seeing the play to really understand the core characters and their relationships to one another.


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