7.4/10
3,589
47 user 36 critic

Bound for Glory (1976)

The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (autobiography)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mary - Woody's Wife / Memphis Sue
...
Pauline
John Lehne ...
Locke - Radio Station Manager
...
Slim Snedeger - Hobo on Train
...
Luther Johnson - Migrant Worker
Elizabeth Macey ...
Liz - Johnson's Wife
...
Gwen Guthrie
Sarah Vaill ...
Gwen Guthrie
Alexandra Mock ...
Sue Guthrie
Kimberly Mock ...
Sue Guthrie
...
Sick Woman - Water-Swallowing Scene (as Miriam Byrd Nethery)
Jane Lambert ...
Other Woman - Water-Swallowing Scene
Jan Burrell ...
Other Woman - Water-Swallowing Scene
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Storyline

This film is an excellent biography of Woody Guthrie, one of America's greatest folk singers. He left his dust-devastated Texas home in the 1930s to find work, and discovered the suffering and strength of America's working class. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | guitar | song | california | texas | See All (33) »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esta tierra es mi tierra  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pivotal Steadicam sequence that first captivated industry insiders involved David Carradine's amble through a migrant camp. The Steadicam operator, Garrett Brown, descends into the scene on a Chapman crane and follows Woody Guthrie (Carradine) as he gets off a pickup truck and walks past some 900 extras. The sequence, which looks quite simple on film, posed a challenge to operator and crew in that, just as Brown stepped off the crane platform laden with his weighty armature, grips had to simultaneously counterbalance the crane arm to prevent it from becoming a human catapult. See more »

Goofs

The movie shows a scene with signs marking the California-Arizona border, where there is a checkpoint set up to turn people away unless they can show $50 in cash. The entire California-Arizona border consists of the Colorado River. The scene is shot in the middle of the desert with no river in sight. However, since the river runs at a lower elevation than the surrounding terrain, it is entirely possible to be within a quarter-mile of the river and not see it. See more »

Quotes

Woody Guthrie: This land is your land/This land is my land/From California to the New York Island/From the Redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters/This land was made for you and me
See more »

Connections

Featured in Tell Them Who You Are (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The Preacher and the Slave
Words by Joe Hill
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User Reviews

"Why Woody, soon you'll be singin' to the whole damn country!"
7 June 2007 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

Is there any other musical figure in history who can be called as heroic as Woody Guthrie? The man was a musical genius, a visionary songwriter, and a great man, a man who never gave up on his dream, a man who gave up a lot of money so he could take his songs to the people, the people the songs were written by, and for, in the first place. Woody Guthrie was integrity personified, a great American hero. "Bound for Glory" is quite appropriately one of the greatest American films of all time, as well as one of the most criminally overlooked, despite two Academy Awards for cinematography and score, and four more nominations including 'Best Picture' (losing in that category to "Rocky").

Astonishingly accomplished cinematography from legend Haskell Wexler as well as some great editing and a stunning score in addition to Hal Ashby's (Harold and Maude) excellent direction make this a beautiful, haunting, and brilliant film. The performances carry the film, with David Carradine turning in what is surely his greatest ever performance, a stunning, passionate, beautiful portrayal of Guthrie which fully captures the man's spirit. Ronny Cox and Melinda Dillon are also superb in their roles. Ashby gets a sort of realism from his actors that is sorely missed today, and any other method of portrayal would make this film far less captivating and beautiful than it is. Screenwriter Robert Getchell adapts his script very well from Guthrie's autobiography, choosing the correct parts to tell. In many senses this feels less like a biopic and more like a story about working class America. Maybe that's why this is probably the greatest biopic of all time.

In terms of technical accomplishment, this is easily among the top 100 films of all time. It's a great American film about a great American hero. It tells the story of not only Guthrie, but also those who surrounded him and the people he sung to. It's a beautiful, emotional, and arresting film that is surely essential viewing. One of the most criminally overlooked films of all time.

A resounding 10/10


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