Merchant Ivory Productions
Writer: Edward Albee (play), Michael Hirst (screenplay), Carson McCullers
Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Keith Carradine, Rod Steiger
This first film directorial effort of actor Simon Callow is based on a novel by Carson McCullers – which, in turn, was adapted for the stage by Edward Albee in 1964. Set in the 1930s, Vanessa Redgrave plays a powerful Southern matriarch, a giantess in overalls who runs the general store and threw out her husband (Keith Carradine) on their wedding night. She has become a legendary figure in her hayseed town.
Her benevolent despotry is threatened by the arrival of her hunchbacked cousin, played by stand-up comedian Cork Hubbert, and the return of her jailbird husband. Redgrave is reduced to challenging Carradine to a bare-knuckle fight in the powerful finale.