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Crimes of the Heart

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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(Feb 03, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Three Oscar-winning actresses have a go at one of playwright Beth Henley's southern-fried comedies, and cook up an agreeable gumbo. In the town of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, Diane Keaton dithers her birthday away as one sister (Jessica Lange) returns from a flopped attempt at a singing career in Hollywood, and the other sister (Sissy Spacek) languishes in jail after shooting her abusive hubby. Truth be told, all three have been a little touched in the head ever since the long-past day when their mother hanged herself along with the family cat. Bruce Beresford provides the workmanlike direction, and Sam Shepard and Tess Harper contribute supporting turns. But this one's all about the three skillful stars, who eschew showboating and defer to each other with real grace--they have the rhythms of family conversation down pat, and they embody the glances and sighs of sisterhood, rather than acting them. --Robert Horton

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Tess Harper
  • Directors: Bruce Beresford
  • Writers: Beth Henley
  • Producers: Arlene Rothberg, Bill Gerber, Burt Sugarman, Freddie Fields, P.K. Fields
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00013RC6Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,645 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Crimes of the Heart" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Martyn Richard Jones on October 24, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The films I watch tend to be action films of the likes of Arnie, Stallone and Gibson et al. So it may come as a surprise that I say that I think this film is a real gem. So why do I think that? Well, for a start it's just a pure delight from start to end. Great acting, great directing, great storyline. It's a southern story played out with charm, elegance and humanity. It's really very diificult to say exactly why one likes this movie because it really is a special personal experience that covers so many things, from aspects of motivation, the way the characters reflect and even just their accents. I will never forget those simple lines "oh babe why did you do it" and the replies, or the "she was just having a very bad day" lines too. It's a very personal film, laid back, up-close, intimate, soft, a work of art. Brilliant acting, brilliant direction and brilliant script - lovely film.
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Format: DVD
Typically films that blend comedy and drama don't come off very well. They have a tendency to swing from one extreme to the other without establishing a happy medium. "Crimes of the Heart" is not like that at all. The blend of comedy and drama is smooth and effortless. Basically the premise is a look at the relationship between the quirky Magrath sisters in the small town of Hazlehurst Mississippi. Elder sister Lenny (Diane Keaton) is an aging spinster with little experience with men. Middle sister Meg (Jessica Lange) has had more than her fair share of men and scandals that result. Youngest sister Babe (Sissy Spacek) has just shot her abusive husband and is facing a lengthy prison term if convicted. It is this event that brings the sisters together where their idiosyncrasies and past resentments surface and set the stage for some amusing confrontations and revelations. To me this film is synonymous with a warm hug as the atmosphere is very welcoming and familiar and as viewers we can really feel like a part of the Magrath sister's world. The performances are terrific and very natural. There's no impression of upstaging or attention mongering. The three leads act with each other as opposed to acting "at" each other. Tess Harper and Sam Shepard complete the film with their supporting turns. This is a great film that gets better with additional viewings and interestingly enough becomes more compelling and entertaining. Lots of fun!
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Format: DVD
`Crimes of the heart' is a wonderful movie based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Beth Henley.

The story is about three sisters, Lenny (Diane Keaton), Meg (Jessica Lange), and Becky (Sissy Spacek), who reunite together after a long time when Babe (Becky) shoots her husband. Due to the fact that their mother committed suicide when they were young, the three girls have completely different personalities from each other. Lenny, the oldest, is a reticent woman having problems with relationships because she thinks low of herself due of her medical problems. Meg, the middle sister, leaves the family at a young age to pursue a career in Hollywood, only to end up in failure. Babe, the youngest sister, shoots her husband because of the abuse and loneliness through the years. As the days pass, the three sisters come closer again and face each other's difficulties.

This was a delightful movie to watch, due to many reasons. Firstly, the entire cast acted wonderfully. When you see names like Sissy Spacek, Diane Keaton and Jessica Lange, you know you are going to see powerful performances of the characters in the movie. They all acted faultlessly in their own way according to their roles. Secondly, Bruce Beresford did a great job in brining Beth Henley's award-winning play to the screen. Furthermore, the background music also added well to the movie.

I wouldn't recommend this movie to everyone, but if you enjoy watching dark-comedy movies, then you will like this one.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Best film I've ever seen. The screenplay, adapted from the stage, is so well written that these characters come to life. You can feel their pain, happiness and fear of the future. The actors are ALL well cast, including Tess Harper. Even ancillary characters that have only moments of screen time, are perfect. NO SPOILERS. Just know, this is a true diamond of a film and should be watched by anyone who enjoys a drama with a little dark comedy. Great work for all those involved.
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This has always been one of my favorites. Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek and Jessica Lange, I mean -- how can you go wrong with that combination? A beautiful story of three sisters -- one a bit neurotic, one a bit naive and one a rebel (Keaton, Spacek and Lange respectively.) What happens when young naive Babe is accused of murdering her abusive husband? A bit of comedy, tragedy, chick flick and feel good is combined in this delightful story. HIGHLY recommended!
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I was excited to view Crimes of the Heart because I am going to the Guthrie to see it as a play. It's an endearing story
about three sisters who are very different but they come together for the one most needy. Beautiful.
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Format: DVD
I saw this movie on tv in the late 80's and it's always stayed with me. I now on it and watch it from time to time. the best thing about this movie is of course the actors! all 3 woman are amazing and some really good supporting roles as well. it has some pretty touching subjects in the film. dealing with death, abuse and an interacial love afair. so if you want a movie that has some pretty darn funny stuff in it thats also touching with some damn good performances then watch this movie!
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