Taos Land & Film Company: Where Taos Land Sales Fund Independent Films

Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People

Supported by a grant from the American Film Institute in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, Good Country People is a superb 34 minute film adaptation of the classic Flannery O'Connor short story by independent filmmaker Jeffrey F. Jackson. In this clip, the climax of the plot is mercilessly revealed. Don't worry, it should do more to inspire seeing the film in its entirety than any other clip.
Shirley Slater as Hulga Hopewell
June Whitley Taylor as Mrs. Hopewell
Sue Marrow as Mrs. Freeman
Johnnie Collins III as the Bible salesman
Anderson G. House Producer
Daniel Lee Holland Associate Producer, Assistant Editor, Production Manager
Jeffrey F. Jackson Writer, Director, Editor
Veronica Lee Johnston Costumes, Make-up, Titles
Mike Walker Script Supervisor
Stuart Neuville Director of Light
Jack Epps Jr. Camera
Jeff Smith Assistant Camera
Nate Kauffman Sound
Tom Crockett Boom Man
Tim & Jackie Vieth Set Design
Mike Everett Gaffer
Dale R. Derda Banjo, Guitar, Voice
Tony Walters Violin, Mandolin, Voice
Annie Rothstein Guitar, Voice
Robert Wise Technical Advisor
Paul Leimbach Technical Advisor
Dr. T.F. Jackson D.V.M.: Executive Producer
Lois Jackson: Executive Producer
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Good Country People (DVD)
A superb 34 minute film adaptation of the classic short story. (32 min)
"I think it's terrific—
one of the best adaptations
of a short story I've seen."
David Jauss, Vermont College of Fine Arts
THIS IS MY PLACE /   [...] The most successfully humorous short film of O'Connor's work is Good Country People [...] of all the films, this one falls most clearly into the comic grotesque tradition of the middle Georgia humor, whose structure, different from the other narrative patterns, exploits the surprise ending format to its full comic dimensions. profaning the sacred in order to ridicule hypocrisy..."
— "THIS IS MY PLACE": The Short Films Made From Flannery O'Connor's Short Fiction
by Jane Elizabeth Archer
MEDIA MIX /   Only a reader familar with with the worlds of Ms. O'Connor could read a plot summary of Good Country People and understand it is not a short story from the paraplegic edition of Modern Romances. Hulga is a sullen, 36-year-old woman with a Ph.D. in philosophy, a bad heart from a childhood hunting accident, a wooden leg, and a view of life gained entirely from books. She lives on a farm with her mother and seems to have no interest in life.
But along comes a bumbling Bible salesman who endears himself to Hulga's mother by explaining "I'm just a country boy" and reassuring the farm lady that "good country people are the salt of the earth." Hulga and the salesman hate each other but are able to form a strange bond (in the world of O'Connor, all personal relationships are "strange") based on the shared belief they both might die.
He invites her on a "picnic walk in the woods," and Hulga accepts, being too naive to realize the Bible salesman is a con man out to take advantage of her by rules other than those in the Bible. They climb into a hayloft, he slobbers her with kisses and insists she admit she loves him. About love Hulga explains, "It's not a word I use, I don't have illusions. I'm one of those persons who sees through to nothing. We are all damned. Some of us have taken off our blindfolds and see there is nothing to see—it's a kind of salvation." In Hulga's economy it is the Bible salesman who is damned and she who is saved. Perhaps it is out of pity that she allows him to kiss her and admits finally that she loves him "in a sense." He asks "prove it" and wants to see her artificial leg because "it's what makes you different."
She shows him her limb; he takes it off, hugs it, and hides it in his suitcase along with his pornographic playing cards, whisky, and parts of other people. As he explains, "I once time got a woman's glass eye this way." He abandons Hulga in the hayloft, legless, and emptied even of her emptiness. His parting line after the ultimate con is "Hulga, you ain't so smart. I've been believing in nothing ever since I was born."
Good Country People features excellent casting and acting and is well directed by Jeffrey F. Jackson.
— Media Mix