7.4/10
4,003
49 user 35 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:
...
...
...
...
John Lehne ...
Locke - Radio Station Manager
...
...
Elizabeth Macey ...
...
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 ...
Jan Burrell ...
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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 (34) »

Taglines:

Woody Guthrie. his music has become as much a part of America as its mountains, its rivers, its forests and its people. His life has touched all our lives. This is his story.

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

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Dreyfuss was offered the role of Woody Guthrie, but he wanted too much money. See more »

Goofs

About 90 minutes in, there's a scene where Woody and Ozark are playing outdoors to an audience of prison inmates. As the camera zooms out, we see the edge of what appears to be a sky-blue painted backdrop, then we see movie reflector boards, then we notice a man walking through -- not dressed in 30's clothes, seems like a crew member, perhaps an Assistant Director. In the foreground, also not in period dress, a man, perhaps a props person removes some leg irons from the back of a prisoner's seat. Then the picture cuts to close up of Woody and Ozark, then back to a wide shot where we see reflector boards, crew standing around and in the background. Smack dab in the middle of the shot, there's a movie camera with full magazine. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hank - Man in Gas Station: ['California Water Tastes Like Cherry Wine' plays in the background'] What's the matter?
Carl - Man in Gas Station: Hey, Wood.
Woody Guthrie: Yeah.
Old Man Jenkins - Gas Station Owner: Cherry wine.
Old Man Jenkins - Gas Station Owner: [Jenkins turns off the record player] Goddamit, Woody. I got half a notion to pull up stakes and hit the road for California.
Carl - Man in Gas Station: I been thinking about down the Gulf of Mexico... or the Rio Grande valley. Just somewheres I can grow some fruit, peaches. Them Indian blood peaches with that red meat.
Old Man Jenkins - Gas Station Owner: Shit fire, Carl! Why down there? In California you just plop a seed into ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Hobo's Lullaby
Words and Music by Goebel Leon Reeves (as Goebel Reeves)
Performed by David Carradine
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User Reviews

"Why Woody, soon you'll be singin' to the whole damn country!"
7 June 2007 | by 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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