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The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom [VHS] (1993)

Kathleen Marie Archer , Jana Arnold  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathleen Marie Archer, Jana Arnold, Megan Berwick, Nelly Bly, Beau Bridges
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: April 14, 1998
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302820715
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,100 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Directed by Michael Ritchie (The Candidate) with an eye toward his terrific 1970s legacy of social and political satires, this 1993 HBO comedy stars Holly Hunter as the real-life Texas woman who solicited a killer to aid her daughter's dream of becoming a high school cheerleader. Hunter is remarkable in the lead, somehow both scary and sympathetic. But it is Ritchie who gets to the heart of the matter in the aftermath of the murder, when there is a mad scramble by the media and Hollywood to package the absurdist atrocity for their own ends. One of the director's more biting studies of the shadow side of ritual Americana, this is not for anyone looking for a bull docudrama. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I went to school with these people! January 19, 2006
It is my understanding that Holly Hunter never met Wanda Holloway before she made this movie. If that was true, then she deserves every award she gets. Her portrayal of Wanda was TOP NOTCH! I went to Channelview High School with Wanda, Terry and Tony Harper. If you watch this movie for no other reason than Miss Hunters performance, you will not be unsatisfied. Of course, Hollywood made everyone else look like a cartoon.

As fine an actor as Beau Bridges is, no one could do justice to a character like Terry Harper.

This is NOT a documentary, folks!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost too convincing June 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie succeeds in being hugely entertaining thanks to Holly Hunter's amazing performance in the title role. She is thoroughly convincing as the trashy, pushy mom who's dedication to the success of her daughter's future as a cheerleader eventually leads to attempted murder. The realism is heightened by the use of restaged media footage, and "interviews" with Hunter (in character), who's cracked logic and twitchy mannerisms will have you in stitches. All the performances are good, and the result is a very black comedy that effectively ridicules this misguided woman's bizarre and near-deadly obsession with success and one-upmanship. Recommended, as it works on so many levels.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positively Unbelievable! June 7, 2005
Well, blow me over! I was stunned! I bought this dvd in a supermarket for less than I've ever paid before, expecting nothing much, purely on the basis of the peculiar title and the name of Holly Hunter. It's an absolute masterpiece: story, direction, acting, the lot! Made 13 years ago, and I'd never heard of it. One of the mothers talks about skill, not promotion, and that must be it. Tons of skill, no promotion. It is simply too good to be plugged, and its reputation can only get steadily better: see the other reviews --- a chorus of agreement. Holly is amazing, and everyone else is just perfect. Every scene is a delight: weirdly true and truly weird. This goes straight into the small group of films that I regard as the best ever.

Later. Well, I just have to add something to try to work out just what makes this movie so perfect. Basically, it must be down to the writing, which is superb. The dialogue never puts a foot wrong. These characters are fully rounded, totally developed, highly comic, yet incredibly real. Everything in the relationships is understated, subtle, accurately observed, and convincing. You feel you know exactly what these people are like, and can visualize precisely how this bizarre situation arose. Holly's performance is out of this world. The scene in the car with Beau Bridges is one of the two or three funniest I have ever seen. You know that Wanda doesn't really believe what she is saying, yet at the same time she really does want Verna gone. Verna's reactions are just as brilliant, and the slide into celebrity status of all the participants, including the school kids, is so accurate it hurts. The family atmosphere in the Holloway household is spot on; and the boy's performance is particularly good. What a consummate work of art!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything is bigger in Texas...... April 4, 2006
And this movie is no exception. Holly Hunter is fantastic, as she is in everything she does (also loved her as Billie Jean King in "When Billie Beat Bobbie" among others). She is so deadpan in Wanda's warped logic, that it draws you in to what made this woman really commit this crime. She actually felt justified!

Of course, the movie is hilariously weird and the title alone is a conversation starter.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome acting, great comedic script July 16, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie was hysterical! I loved Holly Hunter - she definitely deserved an Emmy for her performance. The music was great too -- I'm hoping "Dead Dog" was written for the movie and isn't a real song. If it IS a real song, than country music has hit an alltime low regarding subject matter for tunes. See this movie, you'll be glad you did!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom May 23, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I hadn't seen this in several years and was wondering if it still held up. It definitely DOES! Holly Hunter is frightenly perfect in this role -- is she just over-invested in her daughter's success or is she treading the brittle edge of mental illness? Either way, she's one of the most-believable villainesses ever -- a forerunner to Nicole Kidman's role in "To Die For" (which deserved an Academy Award). An earnest Beau Bridges and looney Swoosie Kurtz round out this excellent cast.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You, Holly Hunter! December 24, 2003
By Upeksa
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Only in America! It's hard to believe that the plot to this movie was actually based on a true story from Texas. This production is now up there with `Tin Men・as one of my ten favorite American movies, not just for the careful satire, but for the celebration of `Americana・ it truly is the kind of story, played out by a cast of intriguing characters, which could not have come from anywhere else in the world.
Michael Ritchie did an excellent job of presenting this story as half-comedy, half-documentary. Not that there should be anything comical about a real-life murder plot, but some of the characters involved really do defy imagination, to the point where the rest of us literally cannot take them seriously. The story thus has all the ingredients with which it could easily degenerate into farce, but Ritchie skilfully keeps the plot and the screenplay very credible for the viewer. Particulaly appealing was Ritchie's poignantly subtle ・and beautifully satirical ・treatment of the US media's appetite for sensationalism, which remains instructive to this day. So we have neurotic suburban housewives and their spoiled teenage daughters, bumbling detectives, prim-and-proper school teachers, lowbrow tabloid journalists, and a bungled murder conspiracy, all revolving around the insipid culture of high-school cheerleading in a small American town. It's a potent mix!
But the masterstroke was the casting of Holly Hunter in the lead role. Ten years on, hers remains the finest performance I have ever seen from an American actress. She didn't just act a part; she became the character ・like the true theatrical professional she is.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wow
very deep movie
Published 3 days ago by CupCake
2.0 out of 5 stars Wrong Movie
I messed up, this was not the movie I thought it was. I must have clicked the wrong link. I thought Tori Spelling was in this movie. I didn't care much for it.
Published 2 months ago by Chelly
5.0 out of 5 stars For my wife
My wife wanted, and watched this movie. I don't know much about it but she enjoyed it. It was delivered on time as usual with amazon orders so I have no complaints.
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Holly and Beau, That's All.
Viewed: 11/13
Rate: 5

10/13: The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom is such a long title that I give the movie points off for... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Austin Somlo
5.0 out of 5 stars 'the things you do for your kids!'
either you get it, or you don't... if you do, purchase this for your permanent collection. it's holly hunter, yall, m'kay
Published 10 months ago by Mary L Deane
5.0 out of 5 stars movie
This movie was a gift for a friend and it arrived before expected. He has enjoyed watching it numerous times and is very happy with it!
Published 12 months ago by Kimberly Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars RIVETING performance by Holly Hunter
Although the true story behind this film is bizarre and just sad, this dark comedy is quirky and hilarious. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kelly
4.0 out of 5 stars my review
I like this movie it has great actors and is a good movie
I would recommend this movie to anyone who is 13 and older
Published 20 months ago by Lynitta
4.0 out of 5 stars I remember
I do remember this when it happened an there are some strange people out there these's day's. I still enjoyed seeing the movie again
Published 23 months ago by shweetie72
4.0 out of 5 stars How To Eliminate The Competition!
Unquestionable, this is a bizarre film! It's a cynical docu-drama (mockumentry?) about a real-life woman in Texas who plotted to kill another mom whose daughter was in junior high... Read more
Published on April 15, 2009 by Craig Connell
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