Horton Foote festival to showcase author’s body of work

Horton Foote was born and raised in Wharton, Texas, and a festival to showcase his plays and movies is set for March 14-May 1 in theaters all over the Dallas area.

Even though he grew up a farm boy, Foote spent some time in Oak Cliff. According to Horton Foote: America’s Storyteller by Wilborn Hampton, Foote went to live with his aunt in a rented house in Oak Cliff after he finished high school.

He attended a drama school and got a job at the Majestic Theater, earning $3 a week. That wasn’t much money, even in the 1930s, but he got to see all the movies for free. He traveled from Oak Cliff to downtown by streetcar.

I watched “Tender Mercies” for the first time this weekend, and I didn’t delete it from the DVR because I know it’s one I’ll watch over and over. Besdies the joy of Robert Duvall doing his best Merle Haggard, it is a lovely story. Foote won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for it in 1984.

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  • So glad to hear Horton had an Oak Cliff connection, since I do now too.

    I had the honor of interviewing him in person, with my hubby Scott, at his home in Wharton while helping on the Margo Jones TV film with Kay Cattarulla of Arts & Letters Live. What a gentle and kind spirit. I also worked with his daughter Hallie who read for Texas Bound at the Alley Theatre in Houston.

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