Before They Were Stars: Sissy Spacek in “Prime Cut”

When the very first scene of an actress’ career involves her lying naked and drugged-out in a cattle pen while being auctioned off as a sex slave to dirty old men, you’d think we were¬† talking about someone featured on The Velvet Rope instead of a future Academy Award winner. But I’m actually referring to the Christmas Day birthday girl herself, Sissy Spacek,¬† who made her film debut in a 1972 exploitation film (and potential “Robin’s Underrated Gems” candidate) called Prime Cut. This is another one of those delightfully sleazy seventies flicks that would never even get made today, but back then, it was able to attract A-list actors like Lee Marvin and Gene Hackman! Even though Spacek is playing a character in her mid-teens here, she was actually 23 when Prime Cut was made and, like her future roles in Badlands, Carrie and Coal Miner’s Daughter, showed that she had a gift for convincingly playing characters who were much younger than herself.

As a bonus, here’s the scene where Lee Marvin and Sissy Spacek are chased by a combine through a wheat field, which I decided to include simply because it climaxes with the combine chewing up an entire car!

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