Vernon, Florida is an odd-ball survey of the inhabitants of a remote swamp-town in the Florida panhandle. Henry Shipes, Albert Bitterling, Roscoe Collins and others discuss turkey-hunting, gator-grunting and the meaning of life. This second effort by Errol Morris, originally titled Nub City was about the inhabitants of a small Florida town who lop off their limbs for insurance money. ("They literally became a fraction of themselves to become whole financially," Morris commented.) but had to be retooled when his subjects threatened to murder him. Forced to come up with a new concept, Morris created Vernon, Florida about the eccentric residents of a Southern swamp town.
David Ansen in Newsweek wrote, "Errol Morris makes films unlike any other filmmaker. Vernon, Florida, like his earlier study of pet cemeteries, Gates of Heaven, is the work of a true original. On the surface, it is simply a portrait of several somewhat eccentric residents of a slow backwater town...There's a taste of Samuel Beckett in the film's tone of droll, forlorn hopefulness, and something of Buster Keaton in the spacious frames and exquisitely deadpan comic timing. Vernon, Florida isn't sociology at all, it's philosophical slapstick, a film as odd and mysterious as its subjects, and quite unforgettable."
Director of Photography...NED BURGESS
Original Music...CLAUDE REGISTER