Foxfire (1996 film)

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Directed by Annette Haywood-Carter
Produced by Jeffrey Lurie
John Bard Manulis
John P. Marsh
Written by Joyce Carol Oates
Elizabeth White
Music by Michel Colombier
Cinematography Newton Thomas Sigel
Edited by Louise Innes
Chestnut Hills Productions
Red Mullet Productions
Rysher Entertainment
Distributed by The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Release date
  • August 23, 1996 (1996-08-23)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $269,300[1]

Foxfire is a 1996 film directed by Annette Haywood-Carter. Based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, it examines the coming of age of four high school girls who meet up with a mysterious and beautiful drifter.


Maddie Wirtz is a high school senior living in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Her plans to coast through her last school year before college are waylaid when she meets another teenage girl who's a drifter, "Legs," who takes shelter from the rain inside her school. The same day she meets them, Legs convinces Maddie and fellow students Rita Faldes and Violet Kahn to confront Mr. Buttinger, a teacher who's been sexually harassing Rita and Violet. Maddie, Rita, and Violet flee after the confrontation turns violent, witnessed by student Goldie Goldman, who flees with them. Later, Legs finds Maddie at her house from the address in a notebook Maddie dropped in Mr. Buttinger's classroom. Legs spends the night at Maddie's house and bonds with her further in the morning before school.

Maddie finds out at school that she, Rita, Violet, and Goldie are being suspended for the confrontation of Mr. Buttinger, despite their explanation of what happened. After getting kicked out of school, the girls go to an abandoned house where Maddie suggested Legs stay, finding Legs there. All five girls quickly form a close bond, with the abandoned house as their "headquarters" and engaging in further acts of rebellion, such as breaking into the school to retrieve part of Maddie's art school application (which the principal refused to let her get before she got kicked out) and Legs tattooing a flame on all of them. Legs and Maddie also learn that Goldie's father physically abuses her. Everything culminates when the girls crash a car stolen from a group of boys who were about to rape Maddie in "revenge" for what happened to Mr. Buttinger.

Though not seriously injured, the girls go on trial for stealing the car, with the boys and one of their girlfriends, Cindy, lying about the events leading up to it. Legs is sent to a juvenile prison and the group flounders without her, with Goldie starting to use heroin. Eventually, Cindy, feeling guilty, tells the judge the truth, leading to Legs' release.

The girls' reunion is tempered by Legs learning of Goldie's addiction; Maddie has taken to the abandoned house to detox. In an effort to help her, Legs leads Maddie, Rita, and Violet to Goldie's house to demand $10,000 from her parents to send Goldie to rehab. The situation escalates when Goldie's father refuses and Legs, holding him at gunpoint, forces the others to take him to the abandoned house. He is tied to a chair while the girls try to think of what to do next, and the tension rises as Legs begins taking her own paternal frustrations out on him. Throughout the chaos, Rita, who was told to hold the gun on Goldie's father, accidentally shoots him in the shoulder.

Panic ensues and the girls resolve to get Goldie's father to the hospital. When Goldie, Rita, and Violet leave with Goldie's father, Maddie realizes Legs is missing. She finds Legs walking along the bridge, looking for a ride to another town. Both girls make proposals, Maddie for Legs to stay with her and the others and Legs for Maddie to join her on the road. Sad but resolute, the two eventually go their separate ways. Legs gets a truck to stop and boards as Maddie watches it disappear.

In a voice-over, it's revealed that Maddie finishes high school and goes on to art school. She travels the world, always stopping at airports and bus stops along the way. Although none of the group ever see Legs again, they still get together once in a while and strengthen their bond over the past.


Actor Role
Hedy Burress Madeline "Maddie" Wirtz
Angelina Jolie Margaret "Legs" Sadovsky
Jenny Lewis Rita Faldes
Jenny Shimizu "Goldie" Goldman
Sarah Rosenberg Violet Kahn
Michelle Brookhurst Cindy
Peter Facinelli Ethan Bixby
Richard Beymer Mr. Parks


The film was shot in Portland, Oregon.[2]


  1. ^ "Foxfire". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Filmed in Oregon 1908-2015" (PDF). Oregon Film Council. Oregon State Library. Retrieved December 27, 2015.

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