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Red Dirt (2000)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 17 March 2000 (USA)
Red Dirt offers the story of a young man's search to belong in this sublime expression of love and reconciliation. At only twenty, Griffith is struggling with the responsibilities of caring... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Dan Montgomery Jr. Dan Montgomery Jr. ... Griffith (as Dan Montgomery)
Aleksa Palladino ... Emily / Lynn's daughter
Karen Black ... Summer / Griffith's Aunt
Peg O'Keef ... Lynn / Summer's sister
Glenn Shadix ... Virgil Cunningham
Jo-Ann Robinson ... Customer in shop (as Jo Ann Robinson)
Walton Goggins ... Lee Todd


Red Dirt offers the story of a young man's search to belong in this sublime expression of love and reconciliation. At only twenty, Griffith is struggling with the responsibilities of caring for his unwell aunt, grieving the loss of their family's matriarch, and his own dreams of leaving Pine Apple. With the arrival of a stranger, Griffith's carefully constructed walls of shame and silence begin to come down and his life takes an unexpected turn. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

17 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Красная грязь See more »

Filming Locations:

Meridian, Mississippi, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sweet Tea Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Unexpectedly Beautiful Film
9 April 2004 | by gpadilloSee all my reviews

"Red Dirt" is not quite like any film –independent or otherwise – to have come out in some time. Some seem to have been disappointed that this wasn't a great southern "romance" either straight or gay and others seem to have been unable to connect with the characters.

While the premise is easily recognizable and perhaps, predictable even, what Purvis did was take a standard situation - and give it a spin all its own with fresh, inviting characters.

I feel Mr. Purvis captures perfectly a small town in the deep South. Deadly silence punctuated by birds, wolves, crickets, locust, rain. Then there are the crazy southern women (all 4 women in this showed signs of madness) always with deeply hidden and long held secrets. All of these women exhibit a wondrously wide (and wild) range of emotions from instability to madness to wise.

One of the most touching elements of the film was the bonding connection between Emily and Aunt Summer, with Em's final "goodbye" an arrestingly beautiful film moment.

The gay repression angle works perfectly here, both men quiet about it, but Griffith actually socially naïve and stunted enough into thinking what is going on between he and Lee is strictly friendship. His unhinging and rage were moving.

Comments about Karen Black's being "all over the place" are correct, but this is not a bad thing. Her character is just that – emotionally unstable, a lifetime of guilt over her secret which is what is driving her mad. We see that pent up madness within her coming out in her dramatic loony-tune sequences and her escape into music makes perfect sense.

To those who complained about a lack of romantic ending, I can't imagine a more classically "romantic" then this; rage, revelation and confusion subsiding into sadness, forgiveness, self-awareness and acceptance . . . as the sun streams down on a glorious southern evening.

Physically, as well, this is a stunning film, the photography breathtaking, the colors vivid and true.

I did not, quite honestly, expect to enjoy this film at all. Instead I found myself drawn in, touched watching these self-imposed alienated characters trying to connect with another human, and ultimately I found myself deeply moved.


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