Winter People

Gallons of PBS-style piety are lavished here on a trite tale about a widowed clock maker (Kurt Russell) with a little girl who settles down with an unwed mother (Kelly McGillis) in a southern mountain community in the 30s, and then becomes involved in various intrigues involving the father of her child and two feuding families. Adapted by Carol Sobieski from a novel by John Ehle and directed by Ted Kotcheff, the film has a likable performance by Lloyd Bridges as the unwed mother’s father. McGillis strives hard to be believable in what is essentially an impossible role for her, while Kurt Russell is amiably professional but predictable. The film is shot (by Francois Protat) in ‘Scope, but the effort is essentially wasted by dull center framing that makes the format superfluous (1989). (JR)

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