Independence Day (1983 film)

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For the 1996 20th Century Fox movie starring Will Smith, see Independence Day (1996 film).

Independence Day
Independence day 1983 poster.jpg
Directed byRobert Mandel
Produced byRobert Singer
Daniel H. Blatt
Written byAlice Hoffman
StarringKathleen Quinlan
David Keith
Dianne Wiest
Cliff DeYoung
Music byCharles Bernstein
CinematographyCharles Rosher Jr.
Edited byTina Hirsch
Dennis Virkler
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • January 21, 1983 (1983-01-21)
Running time
110 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$151,462 (USA)

Independence Day is a 1983 film directed by Robert Mandel from a script by the novelist Alice Hoffman. It was designed by Stewart Campbell and shot by Charles Rosher. It stars Kathleen Quinlan, David Keith, Cliff DeYoung, Frances Sternhagen and Dianne Wiest.[1]

The film concerns the small-town life of an artist (Quinlan) and her challenge to become "what she's almost sure she could be." "Her desperation takes the form of affectations and pretensions that are a little like those of the young Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams and the young Margaret Sullavan in The Shop Around the Corner, but the Quinlan character "has the talent driving her on past all that."[2] Wiest plays a battered wife.

The film was reviewed favorably by the critic Pauline Kael in her collection State of the Art: "Kathleen Quinlan plays the part of the woman artist with a cool, wire-taut intensity, Robert Mandel keeps the whole cast interacting quietly and satisfyingly, Wiest has hold of an original character and plays her to the scary hilt."[3] After years only available on VHS, Independence Day got a DVD release by the Warner Archive Collection on November 2015.[4]


In the small town of Mercury, New Mexico (film was shot in Anson, Texas) where she works as a waitress in her family's diner, Mary Ann Taylor's true love is photography. She would like to get beyond these limits, but when Jack Parker returns to town, he lets her know that he's been to the big city and happiness there is as elusive as anyplace else.

Mary Ann and Jack fall in love. Their bliss is interrupted, however, by the discovery that Jack's meek sister is being physically abused by her husband. Jack tries to intervene, but in the end, Nancy decides she needs to take drastic action herself.



  1. ^ Diane Raymond Sexual politics and popular culture 1990p241 "Liberal Feminism in Independence Day - An attractive alternative to patriarchal famialism is found in the excellent but little known film Independence Day (1982). The film was released without much fanfare and publicity and has received little .."
  2. ^ Kael, Pauline. State of the Art, pp.281–282. ISBN 0-7145-2869-2
  3. ^ Kael, Pauline. State of the Art
  4. ^ Aisle Seat 11-11: The November Rundown

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