Weeds

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • R
  • Drama

WEEDS is an offbeat look at the American penal system and the criminals who pass through it. Lee Umstetter (Nick Nolte), an inmate sentenced to life with no chance of parole, tries to distract his mind from his fate by reading. Then after watching a local theater troupe perform for the prisoners, Umstetter writes his own play, basing it on the dehumanizing...read more

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WEEDS is an offbeat look at the American penal system and the criminals who pass through it. Lee Umstetter (Nick Nolte), an inmate sentenced to life with no chance of parole, tries to distract his mind from his fate by reading. Then after watching a local theater troupe perform for the

prisoners, Umstetter writes his own play, basing it on the dehumanizing prison experience. He is given permission to perform the play for the inmates, and the playwright casts his work with enthusiastic prisoners. Lillian Bingington (Rita Taggart), a San Francisco drama critic, sees the play and

is so impressed with both Umstetter's writing and acting that she works to get him paroled. Based loosely on the real-life saga of inmate Rick Cluchey, WEEDS is a fascinating, touching, funny, and at times brutal look at the wreckage of the American penal system. While pulling no punches when it

comes to the harsh realities of the situation, the film's message is ultimately a hopeful one. The script, authored by director John Hancock and his wife, Dorothy Tristan, falters at times, but the excellent cast pulls the movie through some rough spots. Nolte is superb with a skillful, detailed

performance filled with intelligence and nuance.

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: R
  • Review: WEEDS is an offbeat look at the American penal system and the criminals who pass through it. Lee Umstetter (Nick Nolte), an inmate sentenced to life with no chance of parole, tries to distract his mind from his fate by reading. Then after watching a local… (more)

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