How to Make an American Quilt

6.31 h 57 min1995PG-13
HD. As a granddaughter prepares for marriage, a group of women sew profound stories of love into a quilt in this drama based on the novel.
Jocelyn Moorhouse
Winona RyderAnne BancroftEllen Burstyn
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Kate NelliganAlfre WoodardMaya AngelouKate CapshawLoren DeanSamantha MathisDermot MulroneyDerrick O'ConnorJean SimmonsLois SmithRip TornMykelti Williamson
Midge SanfordSarah Pillsbury
Universal Pictures
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

977 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Cheryl R.Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Timeless, Enchanting, and Magical
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This is one of those wonderfully endearing and timeless movies that you'll watch again and again. Winona Ryder heads a large cast of top drawer actors which includes Rip Torn, Jean Simmons, Kate Capshaw, Ellen Burstyn, Alfre Woodard, Ester Roller, and Denis Arnot.
Finn, a recently engaged college gal is staying with her grandmother over the summer while she works on her thesis. Her grandmother, great aunt, and friends gather together to sew a wedding quilt for her with the theme " where love resides. " As these women work together to sew the quilt they each tell their stories of hope, love, loss, forgiveness and reconciliation, personal change, friendship, and joy. Their stories weave together to form a sort of magic which is both enchanting and beautiful. As the quilt progresses we not only learn about making a quilt, we also learn about the personal emotional contribution of each quilter which actually becomes part of the finished product. The film incorporates some visually beautiful scenery and color combinations and some well done scenes of the forties and fifties. This is an especially well done "chick flick", one you're sure to remember!
2 people found this helpful
K MedlarReviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Good characters, lacks cohesion
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The characters of the women in the quilting circle each had some depth, including the flashbacks. This was well done. The stories about each one was interesting in itself.

The main character, played by Winona Ryder didn't have that depth. She almost seemed like a device to hold the stories together. The scenes with the two men in her life lacked something, too. There was too much adultery, too much focus on sex, but these didn't seem to make much sense. I'm not saying this as a prude, but the motivation toward these affairs was weak. Can't substitute sex/adultery for good storytelling.

I understand the symbolism of the diverse stories coming together in her story, but it didn't quite come together the way a good quilt would. Worth a watch, but it should have been better.
ErinReviewed in the United States on January 14, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of my all-time favs
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Beautiful movie about love, marriage, relationships, and what it all means. I can relate to Finn in so many ways. I read the book afterward, and they followed it to a T. The man is incredible.I can't think of any woman or half-way sensitive man who wouldn't enjoy this. The movie is a conglomeration of each character's "love story", which they then weave into a quilt piece. Just a classic. And Maya Angelou - what a gem. All-star cast. Plus, any movie with Thomas Newman's compositions (American Beauty, Shawshank, Revolutionary Roadl, etc.) is always a winner.The music ALONE is worth the watch. But, no, really. So many movies nowawadays are total crap. I wish they still made movies like these because I SO miss going to the movies or movie night in. Good thing I don't mind rewatching my favs again and again.
8 people found this helpful
Book LoverReviewed in the United States on April 12, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Very good movie
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I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I have watched it many times. I am a quilter, so I enjoyed all the quilting scenes. The immorality, adultery, etc. that some reviewers are referring to are memories of these women's lives. No one is perfect and I did not find these scenes offensive. There was one thing that got to me though, and that was at the end of the movie when the Winona Ryder character takes the quilt with her as she follows the bird to her true love. I cringed when I saw her dragging that beautiful quilt through all that dirt. It's a small thing, I know, but that just got to me and was the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
One person found this helpful
NinaBluReviewed in the United States on June 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wonderful movie
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I loved it but I tend to love all star cast movies like Steele Magnolias, the Joy Luck club. I loved the flashbacks and each woman's perspective on where love resides. I do tend to get caught up in minor details like whatever happened to the diver's husband? I know he never came back but...I find something new each time I watch this movie. This time I cried at the end.
One person found this helpful
MartinaReviewed in the United States on September 4, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
For Women and Men, Young or Old
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When I need to remind myself at this age, all the wonder of getting to this age I play this movie.
It is a powerful reminder about how to love and be loved.
Men do not receive enough education that serves then what love really is beyond sex and for women trying to figure out who to be, this is one of the best movies ever made.
Potent, sensitive does not make is a "chic flic" - instead an offering of how to relate.
Brandon AndrewsReviewed in the United States on July 1, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Such a great movie; a must see
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This movie is a wonderful coming of age story. I had caught a glimpse of it one day on TV but did not get to watch much of it. I found it online and decided to give it a chance so I bought it. I don't regret doing so what-so-ever. This is a great story and it had me fully immersed in the movie throughout the entire film. If you haven't seen it, you should give it a try!
One person found this helpful
Ivonne CamposReviewed in the United States on May 29, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
How to make an AMERICAN QUILT.
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The first time I had news about what was a quilt, became as a shock when I decided to go to a workshop about making your mandala (that's the name of each part of a quilt for other people)with a purpose that was only yours. For me it was like impossible mission because my world goes around numbers and nothing about art. One day a partner came with this film that was totally in line with our work. I finished my mandala and I took photos and asked family and friends to do the same when we present our quilt (with all the mandalas)...just in case one day it seemed to me that was a dream that I have had.

The film leads me to look for this art in USA and it is just great!

A very beautiful film, enchanting and above all the theme: where love resides...oh! Everybody (men and women) is going to enjoy it. Believe me. In adition: great performances. Ivonne from Uruguay
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