Miss Firecracker (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Miss Firecracker (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Miss Firecracker Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A hot tamale tries to throw off a different sort of heat in this comedy of small-town manners. Carnelle Scott (Holly Hunter) is best-known in her hometown of Yazoo City, MS, for her unrepentant promiscuity. An orphan taken in by her genteel relatives, she idolizes her older cousin, Elain Rutledge (Mary Streenburgen), a former Fourth of July "Miss Firecracker" contest winner who is taking time out from her life as a pampered wife in Atlanta to give a speech on "My Life as a Beauty" at this year's pageant. Determined to follow in Elain's footsteps, Carnelle puts a damper on her libido and enlists the help of local seamstress Popeye Jackson (Alfre Woodard) in preparing for the pageant. She also implores Elain to let her borrow the red dress in which Elain won the contest in 1972. Meanwhile, Elain's brother, ne'er-do-well Delmount Williams (Tim Robbins), arrives with a get-rich-quick scheme that involves hocking the family estate. Into this mix steps Mac Sam (Scott Glenn), one of the men who contributed to Carnelle's scandalous past. Adapted by Beth Henley from her own play +The Miss Firecracker Contest, Miss Firecracker finds Hunter reprising her stage role. The actress also starred in Henley's +Crimes of the Heart on Broadway, although she did not appear in the 1986 film adaptation. Woodard and Steenburgen previously appeared together in Cross Creek. Miss Firecracker was shot on-location in real-life Yazoo City.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Beth Henley
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 25, 2004
HBO Video


Holly Hunter
as Carnelle Scott
Mary Steenburgen
as Elain Rutledge
Tim Robbins
as Delmount Williams
Alfre Woodard
as Popeye Jackson
Scott Glenn
as Mac Sam
Veanne Cox
as Tessy Mahoney
Ann Wedgeworth
as Miss Blue
Trey Wilson
as Benjamin Drapper
Amy Wright
as Missy Mahoney
Bert Remsen
as Mr. Morton
Christine Lahti
as Clara Archer
Robert Fieldsteel
as Tommy Turner
Greg Germann
as Ronnie Wayne
Avril Gentles
as Mrs. Biggs
John Burgess
as William
Brent Spiner
as Preacher Mann
Joyce Murrah
as Ruby Kay
John Burgess
as William
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Miss Firecracker

Critic Reviews for Miss Firecracker

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Miss Firecracker is a huge cotton candy of a movie -- there's not really much there; but it's gaudy to look at, and sweet going down the gullet.

Full Review… | June 27, 2015
Tulsa World

Audience Reviews for Miss Firecracker


Whiny and annoying

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Two big names, Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins, unfortunately do not save this boring piece of lackluster storytelling (based on a play), except perhaps Tim Robbin's character defending his sister's honor at the judging pageant towards the end.

Max Gilbert
Max Gilbert

Super Reviewer


Nice slice of Americana.

Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

Miss Firecracker Quotes

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