Watch Marie

"Criminals went free. Officials were bribed. Witnesses were threatened. The F.B.I. couldn't stop it. One woman did. She challenged the State of Tennessee and put criminal justice on trial."
  • PG-13
  • 1985
  • 1 hr 52 min
  • 6.7  (1,011)

Marie is a biographical drama film released in 1985, directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Sissy Spacek, Jeff Daniels, and Keith Szarabajka. The movie takes place in Vacherie, Louisiana, in the 1940s and 1950s and tells the true story of Marie Ragghianti, a woman who faced corruption and abuse of power in the Tennessee government.

The film opens with Marie (Sissy Spacek) living a comfortable life as a dutiful wife and mother of two children in Louisiana. However, things take a turn for the worse when she becomes the victim of domestic abuse by her alcoholic husband. Unable to bear it any longer, Marie packs her bags and leaves her husband, determined to start a new life for herself and her children.

After moving to Tennessee, Marie secures a job as an office worker at the Tennessee Board of Pardons and Paroles. However, she soon discovers that the board is corrupt, with members receiving bribes in exchange for granting parole to convicted criminals. Despite the immense pressure from her colleagues to stay quiet, Marie becomes determined to expose the corruption and embarks on a mission to bring her employers to justice.

As Marie pursues her goal of rooting out corruption, she catches the eye of Eddie Sisk (Jeff Daniels), a charming young man who is running a security scam on the side. The two become romantically involved, but their relationship is put to the test when Marie discovers that Eddie's scams may be connected to the very corruption she is fighting against.

Meanwhile, Marie's situation at work continues to escalate. When she discovers that a man she had recommended for parole was allowed to leave prison only to commit murder, she becomes furious with her colleagues, who attempt to bribe her into keeping quiet. Marie defies them at every turn, finally going to the press with her story and risking her life to do the right thing.

The performances in Marie are top-notch, particularly Sissy Spacek's, who gives a nuanced and emotionally powerful portrayal of the real-life Marie Ragghianti. Her performance takes the viewer on an emotional rollercoaster as she navigates the difficult terrain of corruption and abuse of power.

The movie's direction by Roger Donaldson is impressive. He masterfully balances the film's themes of corruption, love, and perseverance. The movie does a great job of immersing the viewer in the world of 1950s Tennessee, from the authentic costumes and sets down to the twangy music that plays throughout.

Overall, Marie is an enthralling biopic that tells an important story. It showcases the power of one woman's determination to stand up for what is right, even when that puts her in danger. The movie's honest portrayal of the real-life events is a reminder that corruption always has tragic consequences, and that we should never stop fighting to expose it.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 52 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (1,011)