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A pulitzer-prize winning play by Beth Henley that was also turned into a film starring Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange and Sam Sheppard.

Crimes of the Heart revolves around three adult sisters, Lennie (introvert), Meg (extravert) and Babe MacGrath (psychotic) return to their home in super-rural Mississippi in order to try to help Babe, who is a suspect in the attempted murder of her husband. "Suspect" used loosely here, since not only does she not deny it, but is sure to tell everyone that she certainly did put a bullet into Zachery's chest.

In the course of the play, more family secrets are uncovered and the sisters reveal more about themselves to each other than ever before in their lives, demonstrating that family, regardless of differences, can always be there as a source of "heart" and strength.

Death is a popular image throughout the play; the girls lost their mother (and their cat along with the mother) to suicide, their grandfather dies after teetering on the edge of death's bed for a period, and Zachery almost bites the bullet he was served.

I found Babe the most interesting, particularly when, in describing what happened after she shot her husband, she says she attempted to offer the freshly shot Zachery a glass of lemonade. Because she had just finished making a pitcher of said drink beforehand and didn't really know what else to do.

The movie is great, but try to check out the actual play before seeing it on screen, if possible.

Other major works by Beth Henley include:

Am I Blue

The Miss Firecracker Contest

The Wake of Jeremy Foster

The Debutante Ball


Control Freaks

Nobody's Fool

True Stories

Help for this node came from www.imagi-nation.com

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