A WWII American GI (MacNicol) marries an English girl (Hamilton) and takes her home to his Tennessee backwoods parents (Dewhurst & Robards) and his mentally challenged sister (Bates).
That he HAD to marry her is irrelevant, as they seemed to love one another, but the friendly queries and intense conflicts about these two ways of life was amusing and interesting to observe and listen to.
She asks why there is wiring on the windows, as England does not have buzzing bugs as America does.
The dog barks incessantly at her, and after one booming argument with her husband, she screams at the barking dog "Oh, shut up!"
When next we see her, she is walking the dog out to get the mail.
Problems arise, with bull-headed men (this was 1986 when this movie came out after all) as Robards seeks retribution by burning a neighbor's shed or building.
When Hamilton seeks to call the fire department, Robards holds a shotgun on her for her to hang up the phone. Dewhurst enters and upon seeing the scene, takes the gun away from Robards without hesitation.
Finally, Hamilton realizes she must live in this society as they do, and she in turn holds the shotgun on Robards and MacNicol, instructing the slow Bates to now call the proper authorities to investigate the fire, even tho it has now been extinguished. Dewhurst makes no attempt to stop Hamilton.
Brilliantly played all the way around, what I can recall now is outstanding on Hamilton's part, MacNicol did what he always does which is suitable, Robards and Dewhurst were rich (actually Robards seemed a bit wasted, but who could utilize his full talents?) and this early Bates definitely gets her spotlight, tho her storyline seemed a bit unnecessary, as she reveals she was raped (rather candidly, her childlike mind not grasping what had happened) and that Dewhurst had killed the attacker.
Bates is also very effective making that phone call. She likes her new sister-in-law very much.
Classic line, when Hamilton and MacNicol are arguing:
MacNicol: "America should just head over there and bomb England into the Atlantic!"
Hamilton: "Well, you're welcome to go for it. The Germans tried and they were intelligent."
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