A real sleeper, this coal country drama benefits from location shooting in Pennsylvania: The drab mining sites perfectly evoke the stunted emotions of the characters. Brothers Cole (Tyler Christopher) and Patrick Malby (Jason Widener) struggle to sustain their Black Lick, Penn., beef farm while nursing their mute, invalid mother, Elizabeth (Sally Kirkland). The Malby family has seen more than its share of tragedy; the boys' father, Cal Malby (Miles O' Keefe), died in a mysterious mine explosion 13 years earlier, the same year Cole was responsible for accidentally shooting his mother. When the mine's owner dies, Sheriff Masterson (Jack Conley), delivers the bad news that his widow, Penny Hart (Dee Wallace Stone), is foreclosing on the Malby property. Once Elizabeth's lover, Sheriff Masterson endeavors to keep hotheaded Cole out of trouble. In hopes of saving the farm, Cole scrutinizes records of the mining accident that killed his father why were the financially strapped Malbys denied an insurance settlement? Penny, who's being advised by her attorney, Eugene Carter (Tom Atkins), greedily guards her inheritance, which is vulnerable on another front. A rumor persists that her late husband fathered a child with his maid and that alleged offspring, Cait McLachlan (Jacqueline Aries), comes to town for the funeral. Both Cole and Patrick fall for the beautiful stranger, while uncovers disturbing evidence that either his father committed suicide or the mine's owner destroyed his own business to collect insurance. Then someone murders Penny in a car bombing. Several lives may be forfeit as Cole keeps digging for the truth. This compelling drama works both as a mystery and a domestic tragedy, underscored by impassioned performances from the entire cast.
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- Released: 2002
- Rating: R
- Review: A real sleeper, this coal country drama benefits from location shooting in Pennsylvania: The drab mining sites perfectly evoke the stunted emotions of the characters. Brothers Cole (Tyler Christopher) and Patrick Malby (Jason Widener) struggle to sustain t… (more)