In 1988 or 1989, when I was interviewing for a teaching position on the East Coast (I think it was the University of Delaware—thank God I didn't get the job), I came across a movie on the hotel's cable television. I may have picked it up halfway in, but I watched the rest of it. The movie was Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973), which is based on a novel (The Lolly-Madonna War) by Sue Grafton. The title sounds pornographic, but the movie is about feuding clans in Tennessee, à la the Hatfields and the McCoys. I think I saw the movie again a few years later, and may even have taped it on VHS, but I haven't seen it in at least two decades. I have, however, searched for it many times, hoping it would be released on VHS or DVD.
The other day, for no particular reason, I checked on Amazon.com, and, to my surprise, I found it. It's just been released on DVD. The movie is now 41 years old, but it's one of my favorites of all time. The musical score (by Fred Myrow) is stunning, and the movie itself is ever so sad (because of the tragic events depicted). Katherine and I watched it yesterday evening. Some of the actors in the movie, such as Rod Steiger and Robert Ryan, were in the prime of their careers. Several others went on to have great (or at least successful) careers: Jeff Bridges, Randy Quaid, Gary Busey, Scott Wilson, Kiel Martin, Ed Lauter, and Season Hubley. The plot is riveting, the characterizations rich, the acting superb, and the dialogue comprehensible and authentic. The mountain scenes, replete with run-down houses, creaky barns, country roads, meadows, moonshine stills, and dilapidated vehicles, are rustic and beautiful. Not every reviewer liked the film, but some did. I, for one, love it. Katherine enjoyed it as well.
Here is a clip.