Film Scouts Reviews

"The Grass Harp"

by Leslie Rigoulot

Buy this video from

Books from
Buy The Book.

Music from
Buy The Soundtrack.

Hallmark Hall of Fame. That is what came to mind as I watched Charlie Matthau's "The Grass Harp". Now I happen to enjoy Hallmark shows so this should be taken as a compliment. And it doesn't hurt that Charlie gets his Dad, Walter, and a stellar cast to pitch in on his project. Jack Lemmon, Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek, Roddy McDowall, Mary Steenburgen, and Nell Carter create a family that Truman Capote put to paper fourteen years before "In Cold Blood". It is ironic to think of Capote contributing to a movie that is an antidote for all the gore and guts currently on screen, since "In Cold Blood" paved the way for so much of today's film violence. But these are Capote's early days, when quirky aunts and small town gossip were the stuff of his tales.

Matthau paints Capote's world with strong if strange characters. The spinster Talbo sisters own the local dry goods store, which is the center of the town. Actually, only Sissy Spacek as Verena runs the store. Her sister, Dolly, portrayed by Piper Laurie, is as flaky as any Southern Belle's pie crust, with a dollop of cream on top. She isn't just the standard eccentric aunt, but the earth mother stranded in the wrong stratosphere. And it is her herbal cold remedy that makes the plot move forward, but not at the lightning speed that we have become accustomed to. The slick Dr. Ritz conspires with Verena to market it as aproduct, and Dolly rebels, taking her nephew, servant and eventually the town with her. Piper Lauire is vibrant and sweet but never candy-coated.

Back to The Grass Harp

Back to the Press Room

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.