|Index||2 reviews in total|
This early 70s effort is about the ups and downs in the life of a country-western singer (Rhodes from Danger Bay) as he travels throughout the country (in this case, small Ontario towns) It's slow moving and cheap looking like many Canadian movies but it does contain a 70s ambiance and is packaged in a more professional way than most Canadian products. The storyline, dealing with Rhodes' relationships with his band mates, groupies, family (which he abandoned years earlier) and various sundry characters he meets up with, is realistic though the tone is somewhat downbeat. The lack of glamor and sunshine depicted here compliments the melancholic nature of Rhodes' character. The late Paul Bradley plays Rhodes' band mate, fellow womanizer and best pal. It's nice to see him in one of his rare lead roles and he adds a certain manic energy to the proceedings. His "Goin' Down the Road" co-star, Doug McGrath, plays a small town lout with a score to settle with Rhodes. McGrath only has a small role here but, like Bradley, also hints at a level of talent he never really got to show. This was the third Bradley-McGrath pairing (the other one being "Wedding in White" in which they again played interesting characters). Actors like these make you wish that Canada had the kind of star system the USA does so as to properly recognize our talent (and keep them from heading south!).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whilst knowing a reasonable amount about Canadian TV shows,a lack of
knowing films from the country led to me joining a Canadian Challenge
on ICM. Checking a site with a number of Canadian Horror flicks,I was
surprised to find a Music Drama! Which led to me finding out how hard
things can get.
Knowing all the clubs in Ontario like the back of his hand,singer Jim King firmly sticks to playing his brand of Country and Western music. When told by band mates and family that he should try to play Rock music instead,King kicks them out of sight. Struggling keep things together off-stage after telling everyone to get lost,King begins struggling to kick out the jams on stage.
View on the film:
Touring round the music clubs of Ontario,director Paul Lynch & cinematographer Robert Saad (who later worked on Shivers) open a door to the sights,sounds and smells of the era,as the camera skirts around the dingy, smoke-covered rooms where Jim King continues to faithfully play his tunes. Exploring the divide between Rock and Country & Western,the screenplay by John Hunter makes King a guy with a lot of pent-up anger,which reveals it scenes in brittle fights King has with family,band members and groupies who fall out of love with his kind of music. Creating a barn storming atmosphere on stage, Donnelly Rhodes gives a great performance as King,thanks to Rhodes playing King's well-worn charisma on stage with a sharp bitterness off stage,as the hard part in King's life begins.
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