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Sally Field as Edna Spalding: 10 Quotes About Iconic Role

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 02:21 PM

Sally Field as Edna Spalding was one of the actress’ defining roles and her second Oscar-winning performance. In 1984’s “Places in the Heart” she played Spalding, a widowed farm owner in a small town in Texas with a blind boarder and an African American farmhand just trying to stay afloat. As she learns an entirely new way of life after the death of her husband, toil is made bearable by the relationships she develops and hope is not lost. Here are 10 quotes about Field’s iconic role.

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“Edna, as beautifully played by Miss Field, has a lot of the steadfastness that distinguished the actress's Oscar-winning performance in ‘Norma Rae.’”

Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“Headed by the versatile Sally Field, the cast of ''Places in the Heart'' is almost a convention of Hollywood's best character actors.”

— David Sterritt, The Christian Science Monitor


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“This remarkably poignant drama of Depression-era Texas boasts Sally Field's finest performance since her Oscar-winning Norma Rae five years ago…Field never strikes a false note. ”

— Peter Travers, People Magazine

“Field succeeds in making Edna both fragile and tough-minded, defiant not by character or disposition but by sheer effort of will, unprepared in any practical way for what lies ahead but unswerving in her determination to succeed.”

A review on DecentFilms.com

“Sally Field is solid in the lead role as a widowed mother, but she is not the strong unifying character that can tie the strands of Benton’s script together.”

Variety review of the movie

“Field is wonderfully moving as the feisty, sorely tried small-town farmer battling the Depression as well as her emotions, and there's a fine supporting cast that includes John Malkovich, Danny Glover and Amy Madigan.”

— Sue Heal, Radio Times

“The film avoids overt sentimentality, thanks in large part to the outstanding central performance of Sally Field, who would receive her second Best Actress Oscar in the Captain Ahab-ish role of a Depression-era widow determined to save her family's farm.”

— Brendon Hanley, AllMovie.com

“Of course at the centre of all this is Sally Field who is a major reason why it is so captivating, delivering a believable performance of a woman who not only has to deal with surviving but also taking over her husband's duties from finance to disciplining their son. And what Field does better than anyone is transform her character, taking us on this journey as she goes from being timid to tired, naive to smart and you warm to her...”

— A review on The Movie Scene

“Sally Field is superb in the role of Edna Spalding, a widow that risks losing everything when her husband is tragically killed in the great depression…Field's performance was powerful in the way she displayed so much desperation and fear.”

— Ben Russell, The Movie Man

“Sally Field is affecting in the role that won her a second Oscar, prompting her famous acceptance speech, ‘You like me!’”

— Matt Foster, Matt vs. The Academy

Vote Now: Which of These Actresses Stands the Test of Time?

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Sally Field as Edna Spalding was one of the actress’ defining roles and her second Oscar-winning performance.
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