Places in the Heart

Places in the Heart is a 1984 American film written and directed by Robert Benton. It stars Sally Field, Lindsay Crouse, Ed Harris, Ray Baker, Amy Madigan, John Malkovich, Danny Glover, Jerry Haynes and Terry O'Quinn. The film's narrative follows Edna Spalding, a young woman during the Great Depression in Texas who is forced to take charge of her farm after the death of her husband and is helped by a motley bunch.


It is 1935 in Waxahachie, Texas, a small town in the grip of the Great Depression. One Sunday afternoon, the sheriff, Royce Spalding, goes to investigate gun shots at the rail yards. A cheerfully drunk black teenager, Wylie, is firing a revolver. He reaches an empty chamber and, thinking the gun is empty, he aims at the sheriff, killing him. Royce's body is brought home to his widow, Edna, and their children. A truckload of vigilantes drags Wylie's body behind them, stopping in front of the Spalding house. Later, Wylie's friends take his body down from a tree. The two men are buried on the same day.