Shepard is perfect as the dumb hick in cowboy gear who likes lassoing the bedpost; and Basinger, as the faded girl in a red dress, brings a curious, tatty dignity to the role, and proves at last that she can act when not required to pout in her underwear. It's the best of Altman's series of theatre adaptations, capturing the original's dreamlike musings on the nature of inherited guilt; what one misses is the sexual ferocity.
This time the feelings don't build much momentum, though, and the action is generally slack. Robert Altman directed, showing his usual healthy disdain for standard storytelling styles, but never quite getting a handle on his characters or their bizarre situation. [6 Dec 1985]