Places in the Heart

September 21st, 1984


Places in the Heart

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In 1930's Southern US, a widow and her family try to run their cotton farm with the help of a disparate group of friends.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 7.4/10 (4,492 voted)

Director: Robert Benton

Stars: Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris

Edna Spalding finds herself alone and broke on a small farm in the midst of the Great Depression when her husband the Sheriff is killed in an accident. A wandering black man, Moses, helps her to plant cotton to try and keep her farm and her kids together. She also takes on a blind boarder, Mr. Will, who lost his sight in the first World War. She must endure storms and harsh labor to try and make her mortgage payment on time.

Sally Field - Edna Spalding
Lindsay Crouse - Margaret Lomax
Ed Harris - Wayne Lomax
Amy Madigan - Viola Kelsey
John Malkovich - Mr. Will
Danny Glover - Moze
Yankton Hatten - Frank Spalding
Gennie James - Possum Spalding
Lane Smith - Albert Denby
Terry O'Quinn - Buddy Kelsey
Bert Remsen - Tee Tot Hightower
Ray Baker - Sheriff Royce Spalding
Jay Patterson - W.E. Simmons
Toni Hudson - Ermine
De'voreaux White - Wylie (as Devoreaux White)

Taglines: The story of a woman fighting for her children, for her land, for the greatest dream there is...the future.

Release Date: 21 September 1984

Filming Locations: Ellis County, Texas, USA

Gross: $34,700,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sally Field's heartfelt Oscar acceptance speech for this film has often been misquoted over the years. Here it is verbatim: "This means so much more to me this time, I don't know why. I think the first time I hardly felt it because it was all too new. But I want to 'thank you' to you. I haven't had an orthodox career. And I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it. But this time I feel it. And I can't deny the fact that you like me... right now... you like me. Thank you."

Anachronisms: In the scene showing the tornado aftermath damage a power pole appears to have cable TV wiring.

[first lines]
Edna Spalding: [seeing her daughter's doll at the dinner table] Possum, put that up now.
Royce Spalding: Our Heavenly Father, bless this meal and all those who are about to receive it. Make us thankful for Your generous bounty, and Your unceasing love. Please remind us, in these hard times, to be grateful for what we have been given, and not to ask for what we can not have. And make us mindful of those less fortunate among us, as we sit at this table with all of Thy bounty. Amen.

User Review

A fine movie with a breathtaking final scene


This is a beautifully told story about life in a small Texas town during the Great Depression. Sally Field's husband dies and it's up to her to raise their children and harvest the cotton crop in time to save the farm. It's a fine story, but at the end, the film springs a surprise. Who'd have thought a movie could have a coda? The last scene of the movie is so powerful that when I left the theater I literally felt like my breath had been taken away. I suspect the scene is unique in the movies, and it affects me every time I see it. I've shown this film on videotape to friends a few times, and I always whisper, "Please don't say anything to me during this last scene." It never fails, though; my friends always begin jabbering away in astonishment right in the middle of the best scene in the movie. It's not a big problem, though. They always shut up in wonder and understanding just before the credits start to roll.


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