Films of Endearment

Films of Endearment

18 Episodes

In his book “Films of Endearment,” critic Michael Koresky embarks on a personal and historical journey with his mother to rewatch movies from the 1980s she had first introduced him to, igniting his love of film at a young age. In this selection of films inspired by the theme of the book, Koresky presents a lineup of eighties movies starring some of American cinema’s most brilliant, era-defining actresses, from major Oscar winners (Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange) to the undersung stars of independent gems (Kaycee Moore, Seret Scott, Helen Shaver). All featuring women in leading roles, these films reveal that a decade too often remembered for its machismo is abundant in stirring, adult, beautifully acted dramas focused on female characters.

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Films of Endearment
  • Films of Endearment Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Resurrection

    Episode 2

    Directed by Daniel Petrie • 1980 • United States
    Starring Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Richard Farnsworth

    Ellen Burstyn received an Academy Award nomination for her luminous performance in this powerful and provocative exploration of faith with a feminist edge. She plays Edna Mae McCauley, an ord...

  • Raggedy Man

    Episode 3

    Directed by Jack Fisk • 1981 • United States
    Starring Sissy Spacek, Eric Roberts, Sam Shepard

    Nita Longley (Sissy Spacek, fresh from her Academy Award–winning turn in COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER) is a mother of two young sons struggling through life in a small Texas town during World War II. Shunned b...

  • Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

    Episode 4

    Directed by Robert Altman • 1982 • United States
    Starring Cher, Sandy Dennis, Karen Black

    Twenty years after James Dean’s death, a group of former superfans in rural Texas—not far from where the movie star shot his final film, GIANT—gather in an old Woolworth’s five-and-dime store to celebrate h...

  • Frances

    Episode 5

    Directed by Graeme Clifford • 1982 • United States
    Starring Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard, Kim Stanley

    Jessica Lange delivers an Academy Award–nominated performance in this true-life Hollywood tragedy. She stars as Frances Farmer, a free-spirited actress whose talent and beauty propel her to Tinsel...

  • Losing Ground

    Episode 6

    Directed by Kathleen Collins • 1982 • United States
    Starring Seret Scott, Bill Gunn, Duane Jones

    One of the first feature films directed by an African American woman, Kathleen Collins’s LOSING GROUND tells the story of a marriage between two remarkable people, both at a crossroads in their lives...

  • Personal Best

    Episode 7

    Directed by Robert Towne • 1982 • United States
    Starring Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glenn, Patrice Donnelly

    Academy Award–winning screenwriter Robert Towne (CHINATOWN) made his directorial debut with this tale of a promising hurdler (Mariel Hemingway) who finds much-needed emotional and athletic su...

  • Yentl

    Episode 8

    Directed by Barbra Streisand • 1983 • Untied States
    Starring Barbra Streisand, Mandy Patinkin, Amy Irving

    Barbra Streisand became the first woman to write, produce, direct, and star in a major Hollywood film with this charming, gender-bending musical adaptation of an Isaac Bashevis Singer story....

  • Bless Their Little Hearts

    Episode 9

    Directed by Billy Woodberry • 1984 • United States
    Starring Nate Hardman, Kaycee Moore, Angela Burnett

    Scripted and shot by Charles Burnett, Billy Woodberry’s slice-of-life revelation is a key masterpiece of the LA Rebellion, the black independent-cinema renaissance that emerged from UCLA’s film...

  • Falling in Love

    Episode 10

    Directed by Ulu Grosbard • 1984 • United States
    Starring Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Harvey Keitel

    The palpable chemistry between Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro elevates this poignant romance, which plays like a 1980s update of a golden-age Hollywood melodrama. Architectural engineer Frank Ra...

  • Desert Hearts

    Episode 11

    Directed by Donna Deitch • 1985 • United States

    Donna Deitch's swooning and sensual first narrative feature, DESERT HEARTS, was groundbreaking upon its release in 1985: a love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a shoestring budget, by a woman. In this 1959-set film, adapted...

  • Murphy’s Romance

    Episode 12

    Directed by Martin Ritt • 1985 • United States
    Starring Sally Field, James Garner, Brian Kerwin

    When gutsy, divorced mother Emma Moriarty (Sally Field) moves to Eunice, Arizona, eager to make it as a horse trainer on a small desert ranch, the last thing she expects to find is love. Enter the tow...

  • Smooth Talk

    Episode 13

    Directed by Joyce Chopra • 1985 • United States
    Starring Laura Dern, Treat Williams, Mary Kay Place

    Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oate...

  • ’night, Mother

    Episode 14

    Directed by Tom Moore • 1986 • United States
    Starring Sissy Spacek, Anne Bancroft, Ed Berke

    Based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning play by Marsha Norman, ’NIGHT, MOTHER is a powerful showcase for Academy Award winners Anne Bancroft and Sissy Spacek, who star as a mother and daughter locked in a dev...

  • Something Wild

    Episode 15

    Directed by Jonathan Demme • 1986 • United States
    Starring Melanie Griffith, Jeff Daniels, Ray Liotta

    A straitlaced businessman meets a quirky, free-spirited woman at a downtown New York greasy spoon. Her offer of a ride back to his office results in a lunchtime motel rendezvous—just the beginni...

  • Violets Are Blue . . .

    Episode 16

    Directed by Jack Fisk • 1986 • United States
    Starring Sissy Spacek, Kevin Kline, Bonnie Bedelia

    A chance reunion becomes a second chance in this touching, bittersweet love story directed by legendary production designer Jack Fisk, famed for his collaborations with Terrence Malick, David Lynch, a...

  • The Dead

    Episode 17

    Directed by John Huston • 1987 • United Kingdom, Ireland
    Starring Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Helena Carroll

    The final film directed by John Huston—completed by the ailing director just months before his death and released posthumously—is a triumphant farewell from an artist in total command ...

  • A Cry in the Dark

    Episode 18

    Directed by Fred Schepisi • 1988 • United States, Australia
    Starring Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Dale Reeves

    On a cool spring night in the vast Australian outback, a baby vanishes. The disappearance of nine-week-old Azaria from a campsite at Ayers Rock obsesses a nation. Azaria’s body has never bee...