Lolly-Madonna XXX
File:Lolly-Madonna XXX.jpg
Alternative movie poster
Directed byRichard C. Sarafian
Produced byRodney Carr-Smith
Screenplay byRodney Carr-Smith
Sue Grafton
Based onThe Lolly-Madonna War
by Sue Grafton
StarringJeff Bridges
Rod Steiger
Robert Ryan
Music byFred Myrow
CinematographyPhilip H. Lathrop
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
February 21, 1973 (US)
Running time
103 min.
CountryUnited States

Lolly-Madonna XXX (a.k.a. The Lolly-Madonna War) is a 1973 film directed by Richard C. Sarafian. The film was co-written by Rodney Carr-Smith and Sue Grafton, based on the 1969 novel The Lolly-Madonna War by Grafton.[1]

The movie was filmed in rural Union County, Tennessee.[2]


Two families in rural Tennessee, headed by patriarchs Laban Feather (Rod Steiger) and Pap Gutshall (Robert Ryan) are at odds with each other. The sons of the two families play harmless tricks on each other but soon the Feather boys decide to kidnap a girl, escalating the rivalry. She turns out to be innocent bystander Roonie Gill (Season Hubley), not the made-up Gutshall girlfriend "Lolly Madonna" that the Gutshall clan had invented to get the Feathers away from their still. As events escalate, Zack Feather (Jeff Bridges) and Roonie fall in love and try to bring the others to their senses, but to no avail. One family busts up another's still; and in retaliation, the sons of that family assault the daughter of the other. After the feud results in a fiery confrontation in a meadow, where one of the Feather boys is fatally wounded and the mother of the Gutshall kin is shot to death, the two families regroup in order to gear up for a final deadly confrontation. With the exception of Sister E Gutshall (Joan Goodfellow), who packs a suitcase and leaves home, the participants engage in battle at the Feather homestead. In the end, all combatants die.


Critical reception

The film had a mixed reception from the critics. Vincent Canby of The New York Times starts his review as follows:

Lolly-Madonna XXX is a disaster, but I can't tell whether it's because hillbillies make rotten metaphors or because Richard C. Sarafian has made a rotten movie.[3]

On the other hand, Variety had this to say:

Sue Grafton's novel, The Lolly-Madonna War, has been handsomely and sensitively filmed. Excellent performances abound by older and younger players in a mountain-country clan feud story which mixes extraordinary human compassion with raw but discreet violence.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "'Lolly-Madonna' changed lives". Anchorage Daily News. July 8, 1973. p. 14. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  2. ^ Chris Wohlwend, "Revisiting the Nearly Forgotten 'Lolly Madonna War,' Shot in Union County, Tenn.," Knoxville Mercury, 3 August 2016.
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent (February 22, 1973). "'Lolly-Madonna' Appears on Screen". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  4. ^ "Lolly-Madonna XXX - The Lolly-Madonna War (U.K.)". Variety. Retrieved 2 July 2012.

External links