Vernon, Florida (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Vernon, Florida1981

Vernon, Florida (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Vernon, Florida Photos

Movie Info

For his second documentary feature, Errol Morris originally set out to chronicle Vernon, FL, because it had the highest rate of a particular sort of insurance fraud -- dismemberment performed for profit -- than any other place in the country. Nothing of that original idea survives in the film itself. Instead, Morris seems perfectly content letting the camera roll in front of the other eccentrics he found there, using his trademark approach of simply letting his subjects do the talking themselves. Many of them exhibit unusually close relationships to animals, including a turtle keeper, a worm farmer, and most memorably, an extremely enthusiastic turkey hunter. Other highlights include a sermon offering a close reading on the significance of the word "therefore" and a couple with a jar of sand from White Sands, NM, that they insist, thanks to radiation, has begun to multiply.

Watch it now


Critic Reviews for Vernon, Florida

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

Morris' first two films are as carefully composed and thematically complex as any scripted drama.

March 23, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Vernon, Florida feels more like an endearingly backwoods mélange, complete with possums, antlers and the tranquility of the southern swamps delicately shaded by the overlooking weeping willow.

October 28, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Still a quirky, deadpan classic even if it isn't aging nearly as well as you'd hope.

July 1, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

If anything, it confirms the cliché that truth is stranger than fiction. You couldn't make up these interviews.

February 3, 2018 | Full Review…

...something truly special, both funny and moving, strange and captivating.

January 19, 2018 | Full Review…

a Platonic dialogue in that it's suspiciously like a monologue disguised as an exchange.

September 8, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vernon, Florida

As an almost follow-up to the strangely appealing Gates of Heaven, this is a simple documentary that does have its moments and yet seems a lot more interested in mocking its eccentric subjects than having anything really interesting to say about their mundane lives and experiences.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


While I love Morris, this is not one of his most impressive documentaries. While it does feature an oddly fascinating cast of characters, it could have used a bit more focus. Something to tie these disparate subjects together. Again, Morris does not mock his interviewees. True to it's name, this film is about the lives of the inhabitants of Vernon Florida. Although it may not be as enthralling as the Thin Blue Line or the Fog of War, it is still definitely worth checking out.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Documentary about small town life in Florida in 1981. Engaging.

Steve K
Steve K

Super Reviewer

Vernon, Florida Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features