Bastard Out of Carolina

Synopsis: Difficult tale of poor, struggling South Carolinian mother & daughter, who each face painful choices with their resolve and pride. Bone, the eldest daughter, and Anney her tired mother, grow both closer and farther apart: Anney sees Glen as her last chance.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Anjelica Huston
Production: Winstar
  Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 17 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min

People pay for what they do...

and still more for what

they allow themselves to become.

And they pay for it simply;

by the lives they lead. James Baldwin.

The day I was born started off bad

and only got worse.

I guess I was lucky

I got born at all.

Hey Earle, pass me

another one of those beers.

You've had enough already, Travis.

The sun's barely been up an hour.

Jesus, Ruth, would you quit that?

We're 20 damn miles to the airport

and you're starting already?

The way you're driving we'll be

lucky if we get there at all.

Could you two cool it and shut up,

you're going to wake the baby up.

Yeah... which one?

My little sister.

That's the one, smartass.

Ruth, what did you do

with my damn cigarettes?

Hey Earle, got any more smokes?

- No I don't, you want to know why?

- Why?

You smoked them all, that's why.

Oh sh*t!

When Travis smashed into the pickup, the

Chevy folded up like an old accordion.

It's a wonder they weren't all killed.

The drinking must have helped.

He's a liar. It was his fault.

The truck was just there.

Mama didn't know what hit her, even

though she went through the windshield.

She slept through the whole thing.

Lucky that way.

Can't you hold them, Wade?

I am Ruth from my Aunt, and Anne

from my Mama. Ruth-Anne.

I got the nickname Bone

from Uncle Earle.

He took one look at me and said, "She

ain't no bigger than a knucklebone."

Neither aunt Ruth nor Granny

could write very clearly...

and they hadn't bothered to discuss

how Anne would be spelled.

So it wound up three different ways

on the form.

As for the name of the father,

Granny refused to speak it...

after she'd run him out of town

for messing with her daughter.

Aunt Ruth had never been sure

of his last name anyway.

They tried to get away with just

scribbling something down...

but if the hospital didn't mind how

a baby's middle name was spelled...

they were definite about having

a father's last name.

Granny gave one, Ruth gave another,

the clerk got mad...

and there I was, certified a bastard

by the state of South Carolina.

Ruth-Anne's alright but

Mattie-Raylene would've been better.

Of course, nobody bothered to ask me.

Nobody bothered to ask you? Nobody

bothered to ask me. It's my baby.

That's your own damn fault

for sleeping three whole days.

I had a concussion, Mama!

How many babies I had, and did I sleep

through any of them? I don't think so.

What's that mangy dog

doing in the yard?

You ought to get Earle

to shoot that dog, Mama.

It's probably got

rabies or something.

Listen, kid. You aren't the first

Boatwright to go through a windshield.

None of this would have happened

if I'd been awake.

They don't ask you

for a marriage license

before they put you on the table.

I'd have said I was married

and they'd have believed me.

The way I'd have said it.

No questions, no lies.

No lies? You aren't married.

It's only when you bring it to their

attention that they write it down!

You know anybody who reads

those courthouse records?

Anybody who comes onto my porch and

asks to see my birth certificate...

would get chased out of here.

I might even take a shot at them.

Well it matters to me.

Why, you want something on your wall

to prove you've done it right?

A child's proof enough, there ain't no

stamp on her that nobody can see.

I don't care what they say, Bone.

I won't have anybody call you trash.

That stamp on your birth certificate,

it's one they already got for me.

No good. Lazy. Shiftless.

I work my ass off

over other people's peanuts...

and they look at me

like I'm a rock on the ground.

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Dorothy Allison

Dorothy Allison (born April 11, 1949) is an American writer from South Carolina whose writing expresses themes of class struggle, sexual abuse, child abuse, feminism and lesbianism. She is a self-identified lesbian femme. She has won a number of awards for her writing, including several Lambda Literary Awards. In 2014, Allison was elected to membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Bastard Out of Carolina" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Nov. 2022. <>.

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