Square Dance (film)

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Square Dance
DVD cover
Directed byDaniel Petrie
Written byAlan Hines
Produced byDaniel Petrie
StarringWinona Ryder
Jason Robards
Jane Alexander
Rob Lowe
CinematographyJacek Laskus
Edited byBruce Green
Music byBruce Broughton
Distributed byIsland Pictures
Release date
  • February 20, 1987 (1987-02-20)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$225,358[1]

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. It is primarily remembered for having earned Rob Lowe his only Golden Globe Award nomination for a film role.[2]


Gemma Dillard (Winona Ryder) is a 13-year-old country girl who lives with her Grandpa Dillard (Jason Robards) on a farm in the Texas Panhandle. Gemma is visited by her mother, who lives in Fort Worth, with an offer to come stay with her in the city. Her mother (who had Gemma when she was still only a teenager) is now married with a job as a hair stylist and can provide for her.

Gemma at first experiences slight culture shock in regards to big city life but soon comes to accept her new surroundings. 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 are married.

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



The film saw mixed reception[3][4] and was a box office bomb. However, Rob Lowe was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.[5] Vincent Canby of The New York Times cited Lowe's performance as "arresting",[6] while Rita Kempley of The Washington Post felt that Lowe's character of Rory was "played with extraordinary sweetness".[7]

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. ^ "Square Dance (1987)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Square Dance". GoldenGlobes.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  3. ^ Michael wilmington (2001-01-12). "Movie Review : 'Square Dance': A Well-rounded Film - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  4. ^ "Square Dance :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1987-03-20. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  5. ^ Mathews, Jack (1986-01-02). "'Last Emperor' Garners Five Golden Globe Nominations - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  6. ^ "FILM: 'SQUARE DANCE,' STARRING JASON ROBARDS". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  7. ^ "'Square Dance' (PG-13)". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved 2 August 2017.

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