Favorite Movies Starring East Texans
Sissy Spacek movies spotlight the diversity of this Quitman native.
Whether Quitman native Sissy Spacek is the favored star from East Texas or not is debatable, but it is clear by this list from a recent County Line survey that her leading roles in an eclectic filmography stand out enough to win four of the 10 spots in this list of favorite movies starring East Texans.
Crimes of the Heart
Three sisters catch up with each other’s lives and come to terms with the “crimes of the heart” they’ve committed in this popular 1986 dark comedy. Spacek plays the sister “Babe” who finally admits to her siblings that she shot her abusive husband and later had a biracial tryst with a younger man. Spacek won a Golden Globe for her performance and was nominated for an Oscar.
Dazed and Confused
His character, David Wooderson, gave McConaughey of Longview his breakout hit. The 1993 coming-of-age comedy follows the hijinks that he and his high school buddies cause on the last day of school in 1976. The flick has a cult following, in part because the soundtrack recycled the sounds of long-disbanded hard rock bands. [Go to County Line online for an exclusive interview.]
A Halloween pop classic, Carrie is the Stephen King story of a humiliated prom queen whose telekinesis brings her bloody revenge. No one who has seen the 1976 film forgets the scene of Carrie (Spacek) drenched in fake blood while standing as the newly crowned prom queen. It was her breakout hit.
Coal Miner’s Daughter
In this 1980 biopic, Spacek’s portrayal of country music legend Loretta Lynn won her an Academy Award and a nomination for a Grammy (she performed Lynn’s songs, too). The movie traces Lynn’s rise from poverty in Kentucky to stardom. Tommy Lee Jones portrays her husband in the film.
To Hell and Back
One of the most decorated soldiers in World War II, Murphy portrays himself in the movie version of his own autobiography. The 1955 hit film retells his heroic acts in the U.S. Army while serving in Europe. He earned the Medal of Honor for single-handedly holding off a company of German soldiers, then leading a counterattack while wounded and without ammunition. Murphy was born in Kingston and grew up in Greenville, Farmersville and Celeste. After the war, he pursued a 21-year acting career, starring in 40-plus films.
August: Osage County
Martindale of Jacksonville joins an all-star cast including Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in this 2013 drama. The strong-willed women of the Weston family reunite in their Oklahoma home only to unleash pent-up anger about life first and then aimed at their mother, dying of cancer. [See an exclusive interview with Martindale in the online County Line archives.]
Supernatural abilities challenge friends’ loyalties and everyday life in a small town in this 1996 blockbuster. Whitaker of Longview helps George Malley (played by John Travolta) come to terms with his mysterious new powers.
Multi-talented Foxx, born in Terrell, stars in the true story of a schizophrenic homeless man named Nathanial Ayers. When a news reporter (Robert Downey Jr.) discovers Ayers is a cello prodigy, the feature articles he writes about Ayers change them both forever. The film debuted in 2009.
Blast from the Past
In this 1999 romantic comedy, Spacek plays Helen, the wife of an eccentric scientist (played by Christopher Walken) who in 1962 closes his family up in his secret self-sustaining bomb shelter, believing nuclear apocalypse had finally arrived. Thirty years later, their son Adam (Brendan Fraser) ventures out into a much different Los Angeles to find food and supplies. Naïve Adam gets help from a girl named Eve, and falls in love with her, even while helping his crazy parents adjust to life outside the shelter.
Arthur “Dooley” Wilson
Wilson had a beloved part in this classic 1942 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. He played “Sam” as in “Play it again, Sam.” And he did — tickling the ivories and crooning his famous love song “As Time Goes By.” In the story, Wilson is a musical act at club in Europe owned by Rick (Bogart) during World War II. Wilson’s songs are the soundtrack to the forbidden love between Rick and Ilsa (Bergman), a married woman. Wilson was born in Tyler.