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A Rose for Emily (1983)

Townsfolk discover a warped secret while clearing out the house of a recently deceased, aristocratic spinster.


Lyndon Chubbuck


H. Kaye Dyal (screenplay), William Faulkner
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anjelica Huston ... Miss Emily Grierson
John Carradine ... Col. Sartoris
John Randolph ... Mr. Grierson
Jared Martin ... Homer Barron
Bert Williams Bert Williams ... Doc Peabody
Perry Lang ... Deputy Binford
Patrick Reynolds ... Photographer
Frances Bay ... Miss Wyatt
David Downing ... Tobe
Brick Huston Brick Huston ... Sheriff
Sally Kirkland ... Gossip
James Murtaugh ... Pharmacist (as Jim Murtaugh)
Aaron Norris ... Boon
Rod Mays Rod Mays ... Old Man
Annabella Price Annabella Price ... Gossip


Miss Emily Grierson has recently died at the age of seventy-four. She was the reclusive town spinster and the last in line of a southern aristocratic family after her possessive father passes away. Her creepy old house and relationship with a northerner cause much gossip in the town, but it's not until after her death that her disturbing secret is unearthed. Written by cupcakes

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Release Date:

October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Rose for Emily See more »

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User Reviews

A Faulkner Story Brought Alive by Anjelica Huston
31 October 2008 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This is one of those worthy American TV half hours based on a serious short story by a major writer, in this case William Faulkner. The story is about an odd spinster in a small town in Alabama in the 1890s, and her strange tale. It is the first directorial effort of Lyndon Chubbuck, who did very well at it. The story is enough to sustain 27 minutes with the well-scripted narration of John Houseman to carry it through its exposition, and Houseman delivers this in his usual confiding but magisterial style, as if he were an old judge telling us of a case he had once presided over. I am not a William Faulkner fan, but never mind, this is an interesting film and I preferred the fact that it was short, so that I was not subjected to Faulkner's gloom for too long. The story, as one might expect, has a grisly aspect, but to avoid revealing too much, I draw back my breath and say no more about that. What is most striking about this film and makes it work is the excellent central performance of Anjelica Huston as Emily. She has to pull this off with minimal dialogue, as an exercise in sheer 'presence projection'. Despite this being a very early effort of hers, it is entirely successful, and she already seems an old pro, despite being young at the time. This is certainly an early performance to be proud of, and she need have no fear of being embarrassed by juvenilia in this case. It is a very fine film, and the sort of thing of which more should be done. All those who band together to bring classics to the screen on American TV are heroic figures deserving of our thanks. If only this kind of thing could happen more often, but alas, the unstoppable Rise of Decadence will make films like this seem in retrospect like the last flickerings of culture before the candle went out.

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