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Places in the Heart (1984)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 6,495

My Rating

Movie Info

Of the three "mortgage on the farm" films of 1984 (Country and The River were the other two), Places in the Heart is the only one set during the Depression. After her husband is killed, Sally Field is forced to take over the debt-ridden Texas family farm herself. Though slightly embittered by the fact that a black man was responsible for her husband's death, Field accepts the help of another African-American, Danny Glover. She is also given aid and comfort by her blind boarder, John Malkovich.



Robert Benton

Oct 9, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

Places in the Heart is a loving, reflective homage to his hometown by writer-director Robert Benton.

June 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Much is unemphatic, but all of it carries the moving weight of conviction. And it ends on a healing grace-note which passeth all understanding.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Benton's] memories provide the material for a wonderful movie, and he has made it, but unfortunately he hasn't stopped at that. He has gone on to include too much.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Out of the memories of his boyhood in Waxahachie, Tex., during the Great Depression, and within the unlikely tradition of the old-fashioned ''mortgage'' melodrama, Robert Benton has made one of the best films in years about growing up American.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Inspiring, intense tale about hardship, bigotry, redemption.

May 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Benton effectively re-creates depression-era Texas in this moving tale that landed the second Oscar for Field.

January 3, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Set in the Depression, Benton's memory film is too sanctimonious and idealistic, showing how economic misery and hard times bring out the best, here in the form of a new community, composed of a white widow and her children, a black hobo and a blind.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A treasure of a film. The performances are beyond great.

February 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Moviehole

moving and inventive

July 19, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Field succeeds in making Edna both fragile and tough-minded, defiant not by character or disposition but by sheer effort of will.

April 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Brilliant, Oscar-winning period piece

July 15, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

Benton's personal drama is soulful and utterly absorbing. And yes, we really like Sally Field in this defiant role

June 4, 2003

Emotionally affecting film about struggling through adversity and living with hope in a small Texas town during the 1930s.

September 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

quiet drama that settles into the memory like a story Grandma might tell

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Places definitely feels manipulative and sometimes even shameless, but cheap isn't a word that applies here.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Places in the Heart

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 cotten to try and keep her farm and her kids together. She also takes on a blind border, Mr. Will, who lost his sight in the first World War. She must endure storms and harsh labor to try and make her mortage payment on time.
One of my favorite Sally Field movie's. She gives a great performance along with a great cast. This movie could probly relate to a lot of people who are trying to make it through hard times, while trying to keep their home and family together. I highly recommend this movie to all.
November 27, 2009

Super Reviewer

sally's very good but the film is slow
March 29, 2007
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A well polished pieces but sometimes these bits of drippiness weigh heavily on me. Just have to get me in the right mood to like this one more.
February 6, 2014
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Places in the heart was a movie I took from my friend list, award winning movies.It was a strong well made drama that took place in Texas during the Depression in the mid 30s. Sally Field gave a powerful performance as Edna Spalding, a wife and mother of 2 kids who became widowed after a drunk negro accidentally shot her husband. She had also the chance of losing her home because she had no money to pay off the mortgage. So she decided to make some money by planting cotton. She took in a black man played by Danny Glover, who helped her plant the cotton, and a blind man played by John Malkovich. All the performances were top-notch. Sally Field was just great and for this performance she won her Oscar. Glover, Malkovich, Harris, and the rest of the cast offered great support. Places in the Heart was directed by Robert Benton, who also won with this movie based on his life experiences during the Depression..
May 14, 2010
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

    1. Edna Spalding: Moze.
    2. Moze: Yes, ma'am.
    3. Wayne Lomax: You took a no-account piece of land and a bunch of people that didn't know what they were doin', and you farmed it better than anyone. Colored or white.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)
    1. Possum: Right on my biscuit!.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (14 months ago)
    1. Edna Spalding: Moze.
    2. Moze: Yes, mam.
    3. Wayne Lomax: You took a no-account piece of land and a bunch of people that didn't know what they were doing, and you farmed it better than anyone. Colored or white.
    – Submitted by El R (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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