Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940’s Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish — just once before she dies — is to revisit Bountiful, the small Texas town of her youth which she still refers to as “home.”
The trouble is her son, Ludie, is too concerned for her health to allow her to travel alone and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don’t have money to squander on bus tickets. This prompts “escape” attempts each month which coincide with the arrival of Mrs. Watts’ Social Security check. Then, Mrs. Watts makes a successful escape and last trip home.
The Trip to Bountiful is a 1985 film starring Geraldine Page, John Heard, Carlin Glynn, Richard Bradford and Rebecca De Mornay. Geraldine Page won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Carrie Watts. The movie was adapted by Horton Foote from his play of the same name.
The Bountiful of the title is a fictitious Texas town. Although set in Houston, Texas (as was the original play), the movie was filmed by director Peter Masterson in Dallas.
The film features an all-star cast including John Heard and Geraldine Page and a soundtrack by J.A.C. Redford featuring Will Thompson’s “Softly and Tenderly” sung by Grammy-award winner Cynthia Clawson. The film won the Academy Award for Best Actress (Page) and was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
The Trip to Bountiful (1986)
Directed by: Peter Masterson
Starring: Geraldine Page, John Heard, Carlin Glynn, Richard Bradford, Rebecca De Mornay, Kevin Cooney, Norman Bennett, Mary Kay Mars
Screenplay by: Horton Foote
Production Design by: Neil Spisak
Cinematography by: Fred Murphy
Film Editing by: Jay Freund
Costume Design by: Gary Jones
Set Decoration by: Derek R. Hill
Art Direction by: Philip Lamb
Music by: J.A.C. Redford
Distributed by: Island Pictures
Release Date: January 24, 1986