Local mortician Bernie Tiede (Black) befriends a rich widow (MacLaine) in a small Texas town. He murders Nugent after growing weary of her persistent nagging and non-stop put downs, but no one misses her for months until the local district attorney (McConaughey) begins to investigate. In the meantime, many citizens of the small, East Texas town of Carthage rally to the murderer's defense, and demand that the authorities go easy on Tiede for the killing of the elderly Nugent.

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