Bound for Glory (1976)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  5 December 1976 (USA)
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The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer.



(screenplay), (autobiography)
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary - Woody's Wife / Memphis Sue
John Lehne ...
Locke - Radio Station Manager
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ...
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

singer | guitar | song | california | texas | See All (36) »


Biography | Drama | Music


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 December 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Esta tierra es mi tierra  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The first film to use a long Steadicam tracking shot as operated by its inventor Garrett Brown under DP Haskell Wexler's supervision. See more »


Guthrie's singing partner on KFVD radio in Los Angeles was not named Memphis Sue. Her real name was Maxine Crissman, and she was known as "Lefty Lou," because she shared Guthrie's politics and was just as outspoken. In fact, Guthrie was never pressed to stop singing union-organizing songs; the station owner, Frank Burke, was a populist New Dealer who agreed with Guthrie. The reason Woody was fired was because after the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in 1939, he started singing songs that, mirroring the Communist Party line, denounced the war as a capitalist fraud. See more »


Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »


Boil them Cabbage Down
See more »

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User Reviews

It Is Glorious. It Made It.
5 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Of all the five best picture nominees of 1976, "Bound for Glory" is the most difficult for most to remember. I mean it was the quiet film in a year which consisted of "Rocky", "Network", "All the President's Men" and "Taxi Driver". Woody Guthrie (David Carradine of "Kung Fu" fame) is suffering through the Dust Bowl of Pampa, Texas in 1936. There are no jobs, no crops and really no hope. Guthrie decides that the best way for him to do his part is to become a folk singer for the poorest peoples of Northern Texas and depression-era Oklahoma. What follows is a genuinely wonderful story which is all based upon the life of America's greatest folk singer. "Bound for Glory" is well-written, well-directed by the wonderful Hal Ashby and well-acted by David Carradine in the role of a lifetime. Melinda Dillon, Randy Quaid and Ronny Cox are among the other players, but this is Carradine's show from the word go. A wonderful, but truthfully somewhat forgotten masterpiece from the 1970s. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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