Mississippi Matinee an Exhibition of the State and the Silver Screen
spacer image for fomat
spacer image for fomat
Introduction: Beth Henley(1)
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Beth Henley wrote Crimes of the Heart while living in Los Angeles in the late 1970s. The play won numerous awards including: the Great American Play Contest sponsored by the Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky (1979); the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for "Best New American Play" (1981); the Pulitzer Prize for drama (1981); and a Tony Award nomination for "Best Play."
Crimes of the Heart is set in the town of Hazlehurst, Mississippi, and opens with the reunion of the Magrath sisters. The 1986 film version closely follows the original story line. News has circulated around town about Babe, the youngest Magrath sister (played by Sissy Spacek), fatally shooting her senator husband because, "she did not like his looks." The reunion brings joy, but also creates tension, painful reminiscences, and finally self discovery. Henley received an Academy Award nomination for "Best Adapted Screenplay" and Sissy Spacek won a Golden Globe for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical."    [go to page 2 >>]

Online exhibition © copyright 2006
Department of Archives and Special Collections
JD Williams Library, 3rd Floor
University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
telephone: 662-915-7408
hours: 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday
spacer image for format