Taglines: The true story about the woman who wrote “The Yearling”!
In 1928 in New York State, aspiring author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (Steenburgen) advises her husband that her last book was rejected by a publisher, and she has bought an orange grove in Florida and is leaving him to go there. She drives to the nearest town alone, and arrives in time for her car to die. Local resident Norton Baskin (Peter Coyote) takes her the rest of the distance to a dilapidated and overgrown cabin attached to an even more overgrown orange grove. Despite Baskin’s (and her own) doubts, she stays and begins to fix up the property.
The local residents of “the Creek” begin to interact with her. Marsh Turner (Rip Torn) comes around with his daughter Ellie (Dana Hill), a teenage girl who keeps a deer fawn as a pet she has named Flag. A black woman, Geechee (Alfre Woodard), arrives and offers to work for her, despite the fact that Rawlings insists she cannot pay her much. The grove languishes below her expectations and Rawlings writes another novel, hoping to get it published. A very young married couple arrives to inhabit a cabin on Rawlings’ property. The woman is very pregnant and they both reject Rawlings’ attempts to help them.
Rawlings employs the assistance of a few of the Creek residents, Geechee and Baskin, to unblock a vital irrigation vein for her grove, and it begins to improve. The young couple has their child. Ellie’s deer grows older and escapes her pen, and Marsh foretells that the deer will have to be killed for eating all their food. Geechee’s husband comes to stay with her after being released from prison, and Rawlings offers him a place to work in her grove, but he refuses and Rawlings asks him to leave.
Even though her husband drinks and gambles, Geechee goes to leave with him, and Rawlings admits she will be sad to see Geechee leave, after Geechee demands to know why Rawlings would allow a friend to make such a mistake. Geechee decides to stay after all after telling Rawlings that she should learn how to treat her friends better. It starred Mary Steenburgen, Rip Torn, Peter Coyote, Dana Hill, Alfre Woodard, Joanna Miles, Ike Eisenmann and Cary Guffey
Cross Creek is a 1983 film starring Mary Steenburgen as The Yearling author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The film is directed by Martin Ritt and is based, in part, on Rawlings’ 1942 memoir, Cross Creek.
Cross Creek (1983)
Directed by: Martin Ritt
Starring: Mary Steenburgen, Rip Torn, Peter Coyote, Dana Hill, Alfre Woodard, Joanna Miles, Ike Eisenmann, Cary Guffey
Screenplay by: Dalene Young
Production Design by: Walter Scott Herndon
Cinematography by: John A. Alonzo
Film Editing by: Sidney Levin
Costume Design by: Joe I. Tompkins
Set Decoration by: Gregory Garrison
Music by: Leonard Rosenman
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: September 21, 1983