How to Make an American Quilt (1995)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  6 October 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 8,155 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 31 critic

Bride-to-be Finn Dodd hears tales of romance and sorrow from her elders as they construct a quilt.



(novel), (screenplay)
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4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kaelynn Craddick ...
Sara Craddick ...
Finn's Father
Glady Joe


Finn is a young graduate student, finishing a master's thesis, and preparing for marriage to her fiance Sam. But thoughts of the end of the free life, and a potential summer fling, intrude. She goes home to her grandmother, where, over the making of her wedding gift by a group of quilting-bee friends, laughter, bickering, love, and advice lead her toward a more open-eyed examination of her course. Written by Bruce Cameron <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's beauty in the patterns of life.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a scene of drug use, some sensuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A szerelem színei  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$23,574,130 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Jean Simmons. See more »


When Finn meets Leon at the pool for the first time, she sometimes is shown to be wearing a towel around her waist, and other times there's no towel...(during the same conversation) See more »


Finn: Young lovers seek perfection. Old lovers learn the art of sewing shreds together and of seeing beauty in a multiplicity of patches.
See more »


References A Few Good Men (1992) See more »


Written and Performed by Danny Tate
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User Reviews

Ryder and Kaminski
26 January 1999 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

There are only two reasons to watch this film: Winona Ryder's wonderful (as usual) performance, and Janusz Kaminski's spectacular cinematography.

Ryder breathes life into Finn Dodd, portraying her as a charming, intelligent, and highly sensitive young woman struggling to define what love and commitment mean to her. Ryder is one of those few actresses who is able to relay a world of meaning in just her facial expressions alone. She's mesmerizing to watch onscreen.

Added to Ryder's enchanting performance is Academy Award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski's beautiful, flowing images. There are many tiresome flashback sequences in this film, but they are all worth seeing just for the artistic value of the photography. Kaminski makes wonderful use of fluid camera movements and grainy filters to capture the essence of each time and place portrayed. It's no wonder Kaminski won an Academy Award for his work in Schindler's List and will most likely win another for Saving Private Ryan.

Other than these elements, this film has very little going for it. The screenplay is muddled and jumpy, and there are far too many characters with far too many inconsequential flashback sequences that say very little about the nature of either love or commitment. The story concerns nothing more than a bunch of old women sharing completely one-sided and sexist sob stories. Like The Joy Luck Club and Waiting to Exhale, this film portrays men as little more than duplicitous, moronic, emotionally immature children who are incapable of either expressing true love or loyalty. It is a completely shallow look at adult human relationships and has nothing new or profound to say about anything.

As a male supporter of feminism and feminist artistic expression, it saddens me that films like this are, first of all, even made, and then marketed as movies that modern women should see and even cherish. There are many far better films about women and their unique experiences, the most recent one being a small film called High Art, written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Ally Sheedy in one of 1998's best performances.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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