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The Grass Harp (1995)

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After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Matthau

Writers:

Truman Capote (novel), Stirling Silliphant (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Piper Laurie ... Dolly Talbo
Sissy Spacek ... Verena Talbo
Walter Matthau ... Judge Charlie Cool
Edward Furlong ... Collin Fenwick
Nell Carter ... Catherine Creek
Jack Lemmon ... Dr. Morris Ritz
Mary Steenburgen ... Sister Ida
Sean Patrick Flanery ... Riley Henderson
Joe Don Baker ... Sheriff Junius Candle
Charles Durning ... Rev. Buster
Roddy McDowall ... Amos Legrand
Grayson Fricke Grayson Fricke ... Young Collin
Scott Wilson ... Eugene Fenwick
Bonnie Bartlett ... Mrs. Buster
Mia Kirshner ... Maude Riordan
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Storyline

After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city slicker comes to town and convinces Verena to market Dolly's locally-famous tonic, Dolly finally gets some backbone, refuses to divulge the formula, and heads for a tree house with Collin and Catherine, the loyal maid. Verena, who has most of the town in her pocket, sics the law on the renegades. Dolly, Catherine, and Collin find a supporter in a retired judge, Charlie Cool, who's attracted to Dolly. Will Verena's venom win out? And what about that city slicker? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life's Best Adventures Are Journeys Of The Heart. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line Features

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El arpa de hierba See more »

Filming Locations:

Wetumpka, Alabama, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$117,161, 13 October 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$493,007, 1 December 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Final filmed screenplay written by Stirling Silliphant. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Peters: Shame on you Dolly Talbo, sittin up in that tree like a drunken Indian, smoking on cigarettes like a common... Floozy
Mrs. Buster: Floozy
Catherine Creek: Preacher lady don't you be callin Ms. Dolly here no floozy now, why I come down there and slap you bow-legged.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Magic Time: A Tribute to Jack Lemmon (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

DON'T BE THAT WAY
Written by Benny Goodman, Edgar M. Sampson, Mitchell Parish
Performed by Benny Goodman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This movie is a FEAST for the Eyes and Soul!
24 April 2005 | by silverwingsSee all my reviews

After watching The Grass Harp I felt I had just experienced a feast! If you are tired of the McDonald's diet of recent Hollywood formula movies than you will welcome this gourmet quality film!

Based on Southern writer Truman Capote's boyhood, the story reveals the nuances of small town life with humor and wit. The lush visuals and lyric pace create a leisure mood befitting the 1930's when life was simpler. The golden sepia tones of the scenes subtly transport us into the memories of Collin, through whose eyes the story is told. The Southern ambiance, social graces and simple pastimes of a bygone era are beautifully recreated in the world surrounding the characters.

I love the barbershop scenes, where locals gather to socialize and get the latest news. You just want to hang out in the shop and shoot the breeze with Walter Matthau and Roddy McDowell. Joe Don Baker is the perfect southern sheriff and his sidekick Ralph (a rooster) adds a hilarious touch of eccentricity to his tough good-old boy demeanor. Charles Durning is hilarious as a self-righteous preacher that can't wait to kick Mary Steenbergen and her brood of a dozen kids out of town.

Piper Laurie is the heart and soul of the movie as Dolly Talbo. The timid and ethereal Dolly has been living under the thumb of her overbearing sister (Sissy Spacek) but manages to create a unique life of meaning for herself. Edward Furlong plays their teen nephew Collin who comes to live with them.

Dolly and her housekeeper (Nell Carter) take Collin under their wing and try to help him adjust to life in this small southern town. As Dolly advises Collin about the girl he has a crush on, she too falls in love for the first time in her life.

Piper Laurie glows like a young girl around the young-at-heart Judge Cool (Walter Matthau). Their scenes together are sweet and heartbreaking.

The movie is beautiful, both visually and emotionally. It is funny, sad, and touching. Don't rush this viewing. Sit down with a glass of wine and savor.

The Grass Harp is a feast for the eyes and soul!


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