Square Dance (film)

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Square Dance
DVD cover
Directed by Daniel Petrie
Produced by Daniel Petrie
Written by Alan Hines
Starring Winona Ryder
Jason Robards
Jane Alexander
Rob Lowe
Music by Bruce Broughton
Cinematography Jacek Laskus
Edited by Bruce Green
Distributed by Island Pictures
Release date
  • February 20, 1987 (1987-02-20)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $225,358

Square Dance (television broadcast title: Home Is Where the Heart Is) is a 1987 American drama film written by Alan Hines, who also wrote the novel of the same name. The film was directed by Daniel Petrie and released on February 20, 1987, primarily remembered now for having earned Rob Lowe his only Golden Globe Award nomination for a film role.


Gemma Dillard (Winona Ryder) is a 13-year-old country girl who lives with her Grandpa Dillard (Jason Robards). Gemma is visited by her mother with an offer to come stay with her in the city. Her mother is now married and can provide for her.

Gemma accepts and soon finds herself in a new environment. She becomes acquainted with a man with an intellectual disability, 21-year-old Rory Torrance (Rob Lowe). They play together, hang out together, and imagine that they're married.

The story focuses on a series of bitter-sweet experiences that eventually return Gemma to the country.



The film saw mixed reception[1][2][3] and was a box office bomb. However, Rob Lowe was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.[4] Vincent Canby of The New York Times cited Lowe's performance as "arresting",[5] while Rita Kempley of The Washington Post felt that Lowe's character of Rory was "played with extraordinary sweetness".[6]

The film later aired as an NBC movie of the week under the title Home Is Where the Heart Is. One of the members of the Bayou Band as seen in the film was Trace Adkins who, in 1996, would have the first of more than 20 country hits.


  1. ^ Canby, Vincent (1987-02-20). "Square Dance". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  2. ^ MICHAEL WILMINGTON (2001-01-12). "Movie Review : 'Square Dance': A Well-rounded Film - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  3. ^ "Square Dance :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1987-03-20. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  4. ^ Mathews, Jack (1986-01-02). "'Last Emperor' Garners Five Golden Globe Nominations - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  6. ^ 'Square Dance' (PG-13)

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