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Miss Firecracker (1989)

Holly Hunter , Mary Steenburgen , Thomas Schlamme  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen, Tim Robbins, Alfre Woodard, Scott Glenn
  • Directors: Thomas Schlamme
  • Writers: Beth Henley
  • Producers: Fred Berner, Helen Pollak, Lewis M. Allen, Richard Coll, Ross Milloy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001US84Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,698 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Miss Firecracker" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Carnelle isn't happy with her life, so in order to improve herself she enters a local beauty contest, trying to emulate her cousin Elain's win many years ago. Few think she can win, even her closest friends and relatives (e.g. slightly mad cousin Delmount) think she's heading for a big disappointment, but Carnelle is ever hopeful, seeing a win as a ticket to escape her small town in Mississippi.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Contemporary playwright, Beth Henley's ("Crimes Of The Heart") "The Miss Firecracker Contest" is brought to life and to the big screen.
The film features an incredible Holly Hunter as the tramp of the town turned wanna-be good girl beauty queen Carnelle Scott. Carnelle was an abandoned little girl who was dropped off at her aunt's house in Yazoo City not more than a year old with ringworm, diaper rash and a bag of dirty rags.
Deeply intense, Tim Robbins as cousin Delmount Williams (recently out of a mental ward) and the beautiful Mary Steenburgen as Elain Rutledge (a forever young beauty queen) grew up with young Carnelle in their household and under their mother's care and Carnelle is more like a sister to them than a cousin.
After Carnelle works on her talent routine for FIVE years and then dyes her hair a bright red, she gets up enough gumption to enter the Yazoo City Miss Firecracker Contest!
Enter Alfre Woodard as Popeye, the local seamstress that learned her trade at the tender age of four - sewing costumes and clothes for the Yazoo City's neighborhood bullfrogs! Carnelle hires Popeye to help her with her costumes for the beauty pageant. All Popeye wants to do is move to Elysian Fields (a funny and touching scene inthe movie) to forget about her troubles and eat ambrosia all the live long day.
A week before the pageant, the carnival shows up in town with all it's pretty lights and fun rides. Scott Glenn as the carnie, Mac Sam has a romantic history with Carnelle and is certainly dying of lung and kidney failure when he shows up in Yazoo City in the year 1988. This year will be his last for a Firecracker Celebration.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of beauty is a joy forever... April 7, 2004
I've been waiting ages for this to come out on dvd, having worn out my vhs copy ages ago. Touching and hilarious all at once, full of quirky characters and brilliant performances by Holly Hunter, Tim Robbins, Alfre Woodard, Mary Steenburgen, and Scott Glenn. An unknown gem!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally it's on DVD!!!! August 14, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love this movie. I don't know why I even ever watched the movie on the first place, I guess just 'cause my mom bought it at a yard sale a few years ago and we had it to watch. Well, it's become one of my favorite movies of all time. The only bad thing is that it's hard for me to see Holly Hunter as anything else but Carnell Scott or Alfre Woodard as anything but Popeye in any other roles. If you like it, the DVD is a must have. I wish it had more features like commentaries by the director/cast. But it's better than nothing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small movie, a sleeper -- May 15, 2008
a movie of which I'd never heard, though I considered Holly Hunter hot in "Broadcast News".

Then this was recommended to me. A small movie and a sleeper that is a must see. Steenbergen is excellent [...]. Holly is the orphan-turned-town-pump-turned-determinedly-upwardly-mobile in the big small way offered by a small town.

All are excellent, but it is Alfre Woodard who walks -- ambles? -- away with the film. Hilarious and profoundly serious at the same time. And of a lovely light romantic idealism lighter than the lightened Carnelle in the scene at the end when she finally climbs above the ground.

Sweet and lovely film. You'll love it. If you don't, then you didn't watch it.

Popcorn-suitable, for those who prefer that kind of film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very funny comedy, with heart July 29, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of those films that I view every now and then when I need a good laugh. Holly Hunter is superb as Carnelle Scott, the wannabe beauty queen. Although we laugh at the characters, Beth Henley's writing is never mean spirited to the characters. It is a virtuoso ensemble cast. There are some real gems in here, the scene where "Popeye" (Alfre Woodward) explains how her eyes started popping out, and Delmont and his former Miss Firecracker sister (Tim Robbins and Mary Steenburgen) tango through the house. The Miss Firecracker talent contest is brilliant...........this film deserves attention.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Movie! November 23, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Okay this is my FAVORITE movie. Period. Holly Hunter portrays Carnelle as hilarious while still able to draw empathy. Every supporting character is an ensemble of eccentricities, yet are so believable. This movie is the perfect mood picker-upper. 5 stars? Give it 10!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Holly Hunter is sooo funny!!! June 17, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I Love This Movie! I always made me laugh! Holly Hunter, Tim Robbins, and Mary Steenburgen are hilarious as a family. Carnelle (Hunter)is trying to win a beauty contest for the fourth of July like her cousin Elain (Steenburgen). My favorite part is the IR romance between Tim Robbins and Alfre Woodard. It is really good!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you must see this movie October 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I just watched this movie the other day and i must admit in the beginning i was wondering where my brain had went to. As it progressed it got better and eventually had me engrossed in the life of Carnelle. Alfre Woodard is great. Although i do not care for Mary Steenburgen she was good in this movie. I absolutely love Tim Robbins. He is my favorite actor, so of course i loved his role as the black sheep brother, Delmount. All in all this is a must see and i highly recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a quality film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed in the story plot
Not what I expected. Very disappointed in the story plot. Really thought it was going to be entertaining.
Published 1 month ago by Amanda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I enjoyed this movie. I sent it to my daughter to watch with her young daughters.
Published 3 months ago by sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty Pleasure
I have always considered this movie a companion to Raising Arizona. It's the quirky, story of a small town former, 'Miss Hot Tamale', Carnelle, (Holly Hunter). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Englishlass
4.0 out of 5 stars Like sweet tea on a hot day...
Completely charming, bittersweet story of small town, Southern life and pageantry-with hilarious performances by Alfre,Mary, and Holly ensuring that this little classic "shall... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Denny Rhodes
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice try
"Miss Firecracker" looks a little bit like a remake of "Picnic," which is a fine film, "Miss Firecracker" isn't. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Skip Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Firecracker
This movie is an acquired taste. Holly Hunter is wonderful, as is Mary Steenburgen. Not exactly a feel-good movie but it is entertaining. I love this movie!
Published 7 months ago by Doreen A. Rowan
5.0 out of 5 stars Small Town - Intertwining Lives
Complicated movie w/quirky characters. There's brothers/sisters/old & new romances/the magic of uncrushable spirit/cruelty/kindness & atrociously red hair. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kandy Langford
5.0 out of 5 stars My Husband's favorite movie
I purchased this as a gift to my husband. He loves this quirky, funny, bittersweet move. He especially loved Alfre Woodard's role of "Popeye". Read more
Published 9 months ago by Angel Collector
1.0 out of 5 stars Was not worth it
Got this because I'm a pageant girl. It took everything I had to sit still and watch it. I will never put myself through that again.
Published 13 months ago by Lyndzee
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story - Wonderful Characters
I love the cast in this funny, yet serious film. The writing and acting are superb. The film score is also quite nice. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Rusty Schucklefurd
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