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Raggedy Man

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PG
1981

Raggedy Man (1981) is an engaging and compelling drama film set in the 1940s, revolving around the life of a small-town telephone operator named Nita Longley. The movie artfully illustrates the struggles and hardships faced by women during this era and beautifully weaves the narrative around love, sacrifice, and resilience. The movie features a phenomenal lead performance by Sissy Spacek, supported by Eric Roberts and Sam Shepard. Directed by Jack Fisk, the movie exploits the cinematic realism of the rural chaos and the emotional turmoil in the protagonist's life.

In Raggedy Man, Sissy Spacek plays the role of Nita Longley, a divorced mother of two young boys trying to navigate through her life. Longley, residing in the conservative town of Gregory, Texas, during World War II, is often subjected to the town’s prejudice because of her ‘divorcee’ status - a bold choice in an era when divorce was stigmatized. She struggles to maintain semblance in her life amidst the bias and manages a local switchboard from her home, an occupation that puts her in the midst of the town's communication lifeline.

Spacek's portrayal of Longley is powerful and evocative, defining the strength of a woman standing against societal norms, series of unfortunate events, and unending loneliness. Spacek's expressive eyes and earnest performance tie us to Nita's world, making us understand her emotions and empathizing with her struggles - a testament to her compelling acting prowess.

Eric Roberts steps into the scene as Teddy, a charming but transient sailor, who becomes Longley's fleeting love interest. His stay is short but significantly impactful, providing Nita with the taste of love and companionship that she has been longing for. The natural chemistry between Roberts and Spacek is undeniable, making their relationship one of the heart-warming aspects of the movie.

Sonny and Harry, Nita’s sons, played by Henry Thomas and Carey Hollis Jr., are an integral part of the narrative. Displaying innocence and childlike curiosity, the boys go through the gamut of their own emotions, coping with their mother's situation and understanding the world around them.

Adding another layer to the storyline, Sam Shepard plays Bailey, a mysterious figure with ambiguous intentions. Bailey's character brings an edge and suspense to the narrative, complimenting the otherwise placid pace of the movie.

The movie brims with vignettes of life and humanity, channeling the country’s spirit of resilience during war times. The director Jack Fisk successfully manifests the era's essence, reflecting the austere living conditions, the small-town vibes with a near-documentary essence, providing an immersive experience for viewers.

One of the critical elements of the movie is its visually striking cinematography. The grainy texture of the film enhances its period-specific aesthetics, and the director's attention to detail – from the vintage costumes, rustic sets to the small, seedy bars – encapsulates the 1940s rural America meticulously. The beautifully composed score by Jerry Goldsmith enhances the mood and elevates the overall cinematic experience.

Raggedy Man underlines the theme of how societal norms and judgment influence individuals lives, particularly, Nita, a woman trying to break free from its chains to live her life on her terms. The movie talks about love, strained family relationships, societal pressure, and the effects of isolation in its subtle, realistic, and poignant treatment. With strong performances, excellent screenplay, period-appropriate cinematography - the film is a must-watch for fans of intense drama and character-driven narratives.

Intrinsic in its nature, 'Raggedy Man' is a story of a woman trying to find her strength in the face of adversity, being an intimate narrative about survival, resilience, and female empowerment. The movie showcases the concept of everyday heroes, portraying how ordinary people make extraordinary differences, even when their lives seem to decay amidst societal constraints. Rich in character development, Raggedy Man is a hidden gem in the 1980 film landscape that will leave you contemplating long after the credits roll.

Raggedy Man is a Drama movie released in 1981. It has a runtime of 94 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.7. It also holds a MetaScore of 61.

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Where can I stream Raggedy Man movie online? Raggedy Man is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Raggedy Man for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.7/10
61/100
Director
Jack Fisk
Stars
Sissy Spacek, Eric Roberts, Sam Shepard
Genres
Also starring Charles Michael Edwards
Also starring Flora Finch
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