Oh, my goodness, I can still remember the first time I watched this movie upon it's release in 1989. My hubby was working a 3-11 shift and I watched it alone. No one had warned me before I rented it.
The movie is adapted from a book by John Ehle. The film, starring a young Kurt Russell, Lloyd Bridges, and a very young Kelly McGillis got lukewarm reviews. While sitting in her 150-year-old cabin in the mountains of North Carolina at the beginning of the Depression, Collie Wright sees furtive figures emerging from the woods on a chilly, near-winter evening. The figures turn out to be clockmaker Wayland Jackson, a widower on his way to Tennessee to seek work, and his 12-year-old daughter, Paula. Wayland's truck has broken down, and the two have lost their way. Collie allows them to stay the night, and Jackson is immediately taken with her.
But she is an unmarried woman with a baby and dark secrets, the object of tawdry talk, although her family is the most prominent in the community. Jackson stays to become a clock repairman, to build a clock tower for the community--and to court Collie. But the father of Collie's child, a wild young man from a mountain clan long in conflict with her family, soon returns to claim his rights, and a violent showdown forces Collie into the most painful decision of her life.
It's the decision part that breaks my heart. Jay came home to find me sobbing on the sofa with a giant pile of soggy tissues beside me. When Collie walks back through the snow, sits down empty-handed, and Wayland asks her where the baby is, she does some of the best acting I've ever seen. I have the movie, and I've watched it a dozen times in the twenty years since, and I still sob at the same scene.
Anyone else seen Winter People?