The Grass Harp (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Grass Harp (1996)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on the novel by Truman Capote, this often-witty coming-of-age drama looks at a young man growing up with an unusual family in the Deep South in the 1940s. After the death of his parents, Collin Fenwick (Edward Furlong) finds himself living in a small town with two of his aunts, Dolly (Piper Laurie) and Verena (Sissy Spacek). Verena is the more stable of the two, an entrepreneur who controls a number of local businesses and rules the roost with a firm hand. Dolly, on the other hand, is a gentle eccentric who claims to hear the voices of the dead as the wind whistles through the grass, and has developed a homemade concoction that supposedly cures dropsy. Dolly's potion attracts the attention of Morris Ritz (Jack Lemmon), a smooth-talking con man from Chicago who wants to snatch the formula away from her. Along the way, Collin also gets to know Catherine (Nell Carter), Verena and Dolly's quick-witted house maid; Amos (Roddy McDowall), a barber who is also the town's one-man rumor mill; Charlie Cool (Walter Matthau), a charmingly cynical retired judge with an opinion about everything; and Sister Ida (Mary Steenburgen), an accordion-toting traveling evangelist who has had a heroic brood of 13 children without benefit of marriage. The Grass Harp was directed by Charles Matthau, the son of Walter Matthau.

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Cast

Piper Laurie
as Dolly Talbo
Walter Matthau
as Judge Charlie Cool
Sissy Spacek
as Verena Talbo
Jack Lemmon
as Morris Ritz
Mary Steenburgen
as Sister Ida
Edward Furlong
as Collin Fenwick (as a teenager)
Grayson Fricke
as Collin Fenwick (as a child)
Roddy McDowall
as Amos Legrand
Nell Carter
as Catherine Creek
Sean Patrick Flanery
as Riley Henderson
Joe Don Baker
as Sheriff Junius Candle
Charles Durning
as Reverend Buster
Scott Wilson
as Eugene Fenwick
Donnie Bartlett
as Mrs Buster
Mia Kirshner
as Maude Riordan
Adam Crosby
as Little Homer Honey
Doris Roberts
as Mrs. Richards
Nora Dunfee
as Mrs. Peters
Ray McKinnon
as Charlie Cool Jr.
Veronica Lauren
as Maude Riordan (child)
Danny Nelson
as Doc Carter
Rebecca Koon
as Macy Wheeler
Michele Bauer
as Martha Cool
Charles Matthau
as Barbershop Regular
Alex Van
as Big Eddie Stover
Emilie Jacobs
as Elizabeth Henderson
Marc McPherson
as Hotel Manager
Elizabeth 'Boo' Gilder
as Snot Nose Date
Marty Elcan
as Cheap Customer
Richie Dye
as Jack Mill
Jenjer Vick
as Mamie Curtis
Boyd Gaines
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for The Grass Harp

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

Helmer Charles Matthau combines a sensitive screenplay adaptation of Truman Capote's autobiographical novel with a wonderful ensemble cast to create a jewel of a film.

Full Review… | April 29, 2005
Variety
Top Critic

Star power isn't a problem in this episodic rendering of Truman Capote's novel. A scattershot story without focus is, which is why the film soon evaporates from the memory.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Compels us to consider the bounties of nature an the spiritual virtues of freedom, love, and storytelling.

Full Review… | August 27, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

The characters are wonderfully written.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for The Grass Harp

A cute little film that perhaps should have been more widely viewed.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

What a cast. It's a good movie, but I was disappointed, considering the immense talent involved. Slowly paced, it never really convinced me. Good cinematography.

James Higgins
James Higgins
½

takes place during the depression.. a group of misfits decide to live in a tree house and the town folks do not take too kindly to the idea... its a drama worth checking out...

Linda Miller
Linda Miller

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