Vernon, Florida


Vernon, Florida (1981)



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Movie Info

For his second documentary feature, Errol Morris originally set out to chronicle Vernon, FL, because it had the highest rate of a particular sort of insurance fraud -- dismemberment performed for profit -- than any other place in the country. Nothing of that original idea survives in the film itself. Instead, Morris seems perfectly content letting the camera roll in front of the other eccentrics he found there, using his trademark approach of simply letting his subjects do the talking themselves. Many of them exhibit unusually close relationships to animals, including a turtle keeper, a worm farmer, and most memorably, an extremely enthusiastic turkey hunter. Other highlights include a sermon offering a close reading on the significance of the word "therefore" and a couple with a jar of sand from White Sands, NM, that they insist, thanks to radiation, has begun to multiply.

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Critic Reviews for Vernon, Florida

All Critics (12)

Still a quirky, deadpan classic even if it isn't aging nearly as well as you'd hope.

Jul 1, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

If anything, it confirms the cliché that truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn't make up these interviews.

Feb 3, 2018 | Full Review…

...something truly special, both funny and moving, strange and captivating.

Jan 19, 2018 | Full Review…

a Platonic dialogue in that it's suspiciously like a monologue disguised as an exchange.

Sep 8, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Morris' first two films are as carefully composed and thematically complex as any scripted drama.

Mar 23, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

engrossing and rather endearing

Apr 21, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vernon, Florida


While I love Morris, this is not one of his most impressive documentaries. While it does feature an oddly fascinating cast of characters, it could have used a bit more focus. Something to tie these disparate subjects together. Again, Morris does not mock his interviewees. True to it's name, this film is about the lives of the inhabitants of Vernon Florida. Although it may not be as enthralling as the Thin Blue Line or the Fog of War, it is still definitely worth checking out.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Documentary about small town life in Florida in 1981. Engaging.

Steve K
Steve K

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"Vernon, Florida" is a documentary by Errol Morris about the citizens of a small Florida town who talk about their daily lives, apparently responding to questions asked off-camera.(It is refreshing that these are not the hyper-articulate talking heads that we have come to expect in documentaries.) In the process, the candences of small-town America are perfectly captured along with man's relationship with nature, which is expressed most vividly by a turkey hunter. [/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Errol Morris would use a more polished version of this documentary style in his 2000 television show, "First Person." What has never changed is his respect for the common man.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Best quotable lines in any movie ever. Period. You will laugh your face off, then feel bad about it. I love this movie. Each time you watch it, you progress in the characters you like, till you settle on the turkey hunter, old guy with jewl, old man with turtle, and who can not love the man with two shells under the house.

Curtis Lilly
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

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