Synopsis by Mark Deming
Released in the mid-1980s, this farm drama stars Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard as Jewell and Gil Ivy, who run a small farm in Iowa that has been in Jewell's family for several generations; her father Otis (Wilford Brimley) lives with them, along with their three children. While the work is hard and the earnings are slim, the Ivys have been able to get by, like most of their neighbors, until a one-two punch threatens to devastate the Iowa farming community. First, a tornado devastates the area, then the Farmers Home Administration calls in the loans on most of the farmers in the area, which they are in no position to repay. With thirty days to "voluntarily liquidate" their property, the Ivys, like most of their friends and neighbors, are desperate to find a way to hold on to their property, and when the stress causes Gil to buckle, Jewell must step in to keep the clan going. In addition to starring as Gil, Sam Shepard also contributed (without credit) to William D. Wittliff's screenplay; Wittliff was also slated to direct, but shortly after shooting began he was replaced by Richard Pearce.
farmer, farming, family, foreclosure, land, rurality, tornado