The Trip to Bountiful starring Geraldine Page is one of the best movies ever made. It’s based on Horton Foote’s play which originally aired on NBC in 1953 before being produced for Broadway.
The story follows Carrie Watts, an elderly woman living with her weak-willed son, Ludie, and his self-centered wife, Jessie Mae. All Carrie wants before she leaves this earth is to see her beloved hometown, Bountiful, one last time. Although she’s strong in spirit, she’s too frail in heart and body to safely make the trip alone.
Her days are spent cooped up in a little apartment in Houston, Texas, singing hymns and trying to stay out of Jessie Mae’s way. Their verbal sparring is the result of different desires. Carrie wants to live in the past when life was simpler while her daughter-in-law yearns for materials things in a modern world. When Carrie can no longer wait, she sneaks away to Bountiful for the trip of a lifetime.
While most everyone will agree that remakes are rarely as good as the original, Cicely Tyson has undertaken to recreate the magic of the original Trip to Bountiful movie. She started out on Broadway, but I’m pleased to say the version including her performance, which appeared on Lifetime, is on also DVD.
Regardless of which version you choose to watch first, you won’t be disappointed. I strongly recommend you take the time to watch both. The strength of desire portrayed by Mrs. Page and Mrs. Tyson is overwhelming. You’ll be rooting for Carrie Watts and humming hymns long after the movie has ended.