The Grass Harp (1995)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Americana, Period Film  |   Release Date - Oct 11, 1996 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 107 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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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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Keywords

accordion, aunt, barber, coming-of-age, con-artist, family, judge, maid, writing