Miss Firecracker

Miss Firecracker is a 1989 American comedy film directed by Thomas Schlamme. It stars Holly Hunter, Mary Steenburgen, Tim Robbins, Alfre Woodard, and Scott Glenn. The film, set in Yazoo City, Mississippi, was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley and is based on her 1984 play The Miss Firecracker Contest. Holly Hunter reprised the role of Carnelle Scott, whom she played in an off-Broadway production of Henley’s play.


Carnelle enters the Miss Firecracker beauty pageant which her hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi, stages every Fourth of July, hoping to emulate her cousin Elain's win years prior. Carnelle was taken in as an orphan by her genteel cousins after the death of her mother and grows up promiscuous, brash, unfeminine and lacking in grace. Carnelle's closest friends and relatives think she is heading for a big disappointment instead of a triumph at the pageant, but Carnelle is ever hopeful.