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Film / Lolly-Madonna XXX

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Lolly-Madonna XXX is a 1973 drama film based on Sue Grafton's 1969 novel The Lolly-Madonna War, directed by Richard C. Sarafian and starring Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan, Jeff Bridges, Scott Wilson, Gary Busey and Randy Quaid.

Two rural Tennessee families, the Feathers and the Gutshalls, are at war with each other. The Gutshalls create a postcard from a fictional girlfriend, Lolly-Madonna, as a ruse to lure the Feather boys away from their moonshine still. This prompts the Feathers to kidnap innocent bystander Roonie Gill (Season Hubley), thinking she is Lolly-Madonna, so they can use her as a hostage— a mistake which causes the feud to rapidly and violently escalate.

Lolly-Madonna XXX contains examples of:

  • Accidental Kidnapping: Roonie's kidnapping kicks off the plot.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Zack's original name in the book was "Cock" (as in "cock robin", to go with the Feathers' bird Theme Naming).
  • Blood from the Mouth: Gutshall matriarch Elspeth bleeds from the mouth when she's shot. Later, Thrush does the same when his father beats him to death.
  • Female Gaze: Roonie stares at Zack Feather (Jeff Bridges) while he washes himself in the trough. When he asks, "Haven't you seen a man with his shirt off before?" she smiles and shrugs.
  • Feuding Families: The Feathers and the Gutshalls are at war over a piece of meadowland that had been in the Feather family for generations; the Feathers lost it for tax-related reasons, and the Gutshalls won it in an auction.
  • Friendless Background: Roonie was orphaned at the age of twelve and grew up in foster care.
  • Hillbilly Moonshiner: Both the Feathers and Gutshalls engage in this.
  • Invented Individual: "Lolly-Madonna"
  • The Lost Lenore: The Feathers used to be a much happier and more loving family until the death of Zack's wife Lyda Jo; after that, the love went out of their family.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Towards the end of the movie, Laban Feather takes out his frustrations by violently beating his son Thrush. Thrush doesn't survive.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Zack and Thrush both flash back to Zack's wife's death in a riding accident, and Laban's shooting of Thrush's horses in response.