Miss Firecracker (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Miss Firecracker (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Miss Firecracker Photos

Movie Info

Miss Firecracker is the streamlined title of the film version of Beth Henley's play The Miss Firecracker Contest. Holly Hunter plays a Mississippi girl whose sole reason for being is to enter beauty contests. Unfortunately, Holly's reputation for promiscuity is too well known in Yazoo City for her to be considered a serious contender for the "Miss Firecracker" competition. In the days before the contest, Holly attempts to rally around her those people who might enable her to win, including her cousin and idol, former "Miss Firecracker" Mary Steenburgen. The characters veer dangerously close to caricature at times but the film works for the most part, thanks to the virtuoso vitality of Holly Hunter. Watch for director Thomas Schlamme's real life wife (Christine Lahti) and child in a fleeting cameo appearance.


Holly Hunter
as Carnelle Scott
Mary Steenburgen
as Elain Rutledge
Tim Robbins
as Delmount Williams
Alfre Woodard
as Popeye Jackson
Scott Glenn
as Mac Sam
Veanne Cox
as Tessy Mahoney
Ann Wedgeworth
as Miss Blue
Trey Wilson
as Benjamin Drapper
Amy Wright
as Missy Mahoney
Bert Remsen
as Mr. Morton
Christine Lahti
as Clara Archer
Robert Fieldsteel
as Tommy Turner
Greg Germann
as Ronnie Wayne
Avril Gentles
as Mrs. Biggs
John Burgess
as William
Brent Spiner
as Preacher Mann
Joyce Murrah
as Ruby Kay
View All

Critic Reviews for Miss Firecracker

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Ultimately, Miss Firecracker is a sweet celebration of humanity, of just plain folks trying to get by.

October 24, 2018 | Full Review…

A neglected gem with sensational performances by everyone, especially Steenburgen and Woodard.

April 3, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
Top Critic

What finally makes Miss Firecracker special is that it is not about who wins the contest, but about how all beauty contests are about the need to be loved and about how silly a beauty contest can seem if somebody really loves you.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A gentle, off-beat satire that characterizes a bunch of Southern oddballs striving for acceptance.

August 21, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Miss Firecracker is a huge cotton candy of a movie -- there's not really much there; but it's gaudy to look at, and sweet going down the gullet.

June 27, 2015 | Full Review…

Warmly human film based on Beth Henley's 1984 play. It will appeal to those who long for liberation from bad dreams and yearn for a place where they can be accepted for who they are.

July 19, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Miss Firecracker


Whiny and annoying

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Two big names, Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins, unfortunately do not save this boring piece of lackluster storytelling (based on a play), except perhaps Tim Robbin's character defending his sister's honor at the judging pageant towards the end.

Max Gilbert
Max Gilbert

Super Reviewer


Nice slice of Americana.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

Miss Firecracker Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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