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Ode to Billy Joe (1976)

PG | | Drama | 4 June 1976 (USA)
Billy Joe confesses his love to the lovely Bobbi Lee only to cover his growing fear that he may, in fact, be homosexual. One night, at a barn dance, he gets a little drunk and rather than ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Max Baer)

Writers:

(song),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Joan Hotchkis ...
Anna 'Mama' Hartley
Sandy McPeak ...
Glenn 'Papa' Hartley
...
Dewey Barksdale
Terence Goodman ...
James Hartley
Becky Bowen ...
Becky Thompson
Simpson Hemphill ...
Brother Taylor
Ed Shelnut ...
Coleman Stroud
Eddie Talr ...
Tom Hargitay
William Hallberg ...
Dan McAllister
Frannye Capelle ...
Belinda Wiggs
Rebecca Jernigan ...
Mrs. Thompson
Ann Martin ...
Mrs. Hunicutt
Will Long ...
Trooper Bosh
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Storyline

Billy Joe confesses his love to the lovely Bobbi Lee only to cover his growing fear that he may, in fact, be homosexual. One night, at a barn dance, he gets a little drunk and rather than going with the hired whores, gives into his desires and sexual relations with an unnamed man. The guilt causes him to run away, hide in the woods and eventually confess everything to Bobbi Lee who doesn't want to believe him only because she was enjoying the forbidden nature of their love. In the end, he cannot accept his sexuality nor can he hide behind Bobbi Lee and that's why he throws himself off the Tallahachee bridge. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What the song didn't tell you, the movie will.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ponte do Desejo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie date of release, Friday, June 4th, 1976, was one month before the United States' bi-centennial date of (Thursday), July 4th, 1776, Sunday, July 4th, 1976. See more »

Goofs

At the dance, one of the band is playing an Ovation guitar. The movie is set in 1960, but the company Ovation Guitars was not founded until 1966. See more »

Quotes

Bobbie Lee Hartley: It's gonna be all right. We've just been waiting so long and trying so hard. Oh, it's all right Billy Joe.
Billy Joe McAllister: It ain't all right! I ain't all right!
[long pause as Billy Joe walks a few steps away from Bobbie Lee]
Billy Joe McAllister: Bobbie... I have been with a man! Did you hear me? Which is a sin against nature! A sin against God! I don't know how I could have done it, I swear! I don't know how I could be wanting you and do that.
Bobbie Lee Hartley: But you were drunk. Maybe you just imagined it.
Billy Joe McAllister: I didn't imagine nothing!
Bobbie Lee Hartley: But you were ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.32 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

THERE'LL BE TIME
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Music by Michel Legrand
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remembered with affection
20 March 2015 | by (Minnesota, United States) – See all my reviews

I recall seeing this movie when it first came out - I was surprised at how empty the theater was. This is a movie based upon the beautifully charismatic song by Bobby Gentry from the 60's.

I thought the storyline was very engaging and realistic. It touches on a subject which may put some people off, but it is done in a mature way and isn't shown on-screen. A slice of life from the rural deep south. Easy on the eye and easy on the ear. I remember the acting performances being very good. For those of us who haven't experienced this type of upbringing, it was a good insight.

The song itself, is one of the great songs of 60's. For me the movie worked well. I could feel the long hot summers and the simplistic lifestyle and also showed you some of the darker side of life which was kept very quiet. It's a pity it never comes round on TV - it obviously wasn't a hit at the box office, but don't let that cloud your judgment. I think it's worth seeing. If you like Fried Green Tomatoes and The Trip To Bountiful, there's no reason to believe that you won't enjoy this.


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When/why/how was he with another man? libertino85
Sorry for my ignorance, but matanil
The whole homosexuality issue bigtwang
It was a baby they threw and here is why... darkmoonlady2002
Ambiguity in Billy Joe ode by Bobbie Gentry bettiem
Okay, a little help please... welwutevrnvrmind
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