Cinema: Hold the Phone

RAGGEDY MAN Directed by Jack Fisk Screenplay by William D. Wittliff

What to make of this slice of American pie, this pastoral adagio, this memoir-nightmare? Writer Wittliff has drawn the film's setting and tone from his childhood in a small Texas town off the gulf. Nita Longley (Sissy Spacek), a divorced woman with two sons, works in an isolated house as the town's switchboard operator. She meets a fresh-faced sailor (handsomely played by Eric Roberts); there is a tender affair, another man (Sam Shepard), a pair of resentful layabouts, an abrupt slash of melodrama. Except for the denouement, Raggedy Man...

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