Kathleen Quinlan (Mary Ann Taylor)David Keith (Jack Parker)Frances Sternhagen (Carla Taylor)Cliff De Young (Les Morgan)Dianne Wiest (Nancy Morgan)Josef Sommer (Sam Taylor)Bert Remsen (Red Malone)Richard Farnsworth (Evan)Brooke Alderson (Shelly)Noble Willingham (Andy Parker)Anne Haney (Rose Parker)Judith Brown (Janis)Jeff Polk (Billy Morgan)Zachary DeLoach (Joey Morgan)Scott Simpson (Youngest Morgan Child)Lane Simpson (Youngest Morgan Child)Cheryl Smith (Ginny)Kenneth E. Reynolds (Minister)
Mary Ann Taylor of Mercury, Texas loves the comforts of her hometown, but feels unfulfilled by a life of pouring coffee and grilling hamburgers in her father's diner. Her real passion is photography, but pursuing her dream of becoming a photographer means leaving Mercury. Despite her desperation to expand her horizons, Mary Ann hesitates to leave because of her mother's declining health and her own new romance with Jack Park, a mechanic who has just returned to town after realizing the cruelties of the outside world. She has a steady job as a waitress in her father's diner, yet feels unfulfilled by a life of pouring coffee and grilling hamburgers. Mary Ann's real passion is photography, but pursuing her dream of becoming a photographer means leaving Mercury behind. He experienced big-city living first-hand and wants nothing more than to settle down back home. But Jack and Mary Ann soon find that cruelties exist in their own little town when Jack discovers that his sister Nancy is being routinely abused and brutally beaten by her husband Les. While Jack struggles with how to help her, Mary Ann faces a crucial choice about her future: stay in town with Jack or pursue her dream in California without him.