Movie Article

Basic Spacek

A Sissy Spacek primer -- ''Badlands'' and ''Carrie'' have some memorable moments from the actress

A Sissy Spacek primer

The unfazed blue-eyed focus that Sissy Spacek, 41, brings to a movie can make her level-headed in one role and around the bend in the next: She's a rare combination of grit and spaciness. A three-film burst in '86 was the last we heard of her for four years — family life with her husband (director Jack Fisk) and two daughters took precedence. The Long Walk Home hints at a new chapter in her career. These, in our opinion, are Spacek's most memorable moments.

Badlands (1973)
Spacek is chillingly banal as a killer's girlfriend.

Carrie (1976)
She's the touching core of Brian De Palma's fun-show.

Three Women (1977)
A stunning turn opposite Shelley Duvall in Robert Altman's underrated film.

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
Spacek won an Oscar as country singer Loretta Lynn.

Raggedy Man (1981)
A full-bodied performance in a suspenseful period piece directed by Fisk.

Crimes of the Heart (1986)
Spacek steals the show as Babe, the youngest and most out-to-lunch character in playwright Beth Henley's story of three sisters.

Originally posted Jan 18, 1991 Published in issue #49 Jan 18, 1991 Order article reprints