IMDb > Ode to Billy Joe (1976)
Ode to Billy Joe
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Ode to Billy Joe (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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6.4/10   1,105 votes »
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Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
4 June 1976 (USA) See more »
A love story that's joyous, funny, and so touching you'll never forget it. See more »
Billy Joe confesses his love to the lovely Bobbi Lee only to cover his growing fear that he may, in fact... See more » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
A sweet and tragic rural romance. See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robby Benson ... Billy Joe McAllister

Glynnis O'Connor ... Bobbie Lee Hartley
Joan Hotchkis ... Anna 'Mama' Hartley

Sandy McPeak ... Glenn 'Papa' Hartley

James Best ... 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
John Roper ... Trooper Ned
Pat Purcell ... Alabama Boy #1
Jim Westerfield ... Alabama Boy #2
Jack Capelle ... Alabama Driver
Al Scott ... Master of Ceremonies
Peggy Kubena ... Stripper / Prositute
Paul Hughes Sr. ... Band Leader
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael D. Carlin ... Hunicutt Kid (uncredited)
Andy Sims ... Dance Hall Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
Max Baer Jr.  (as Max Baer)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bobbie Gentry  song by
Herman Raucher 

Produced by
Max Baer Jr. .... producer (as Max Baer)
Roger Camras .... producer
Mark Sussman .... associate producer
Original Music by
Michel Legrand 
Cinematography by
Michel Hugo (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Frank Morriss  (as Frank E. Morriss)
Casting by
Phil Benjamin 
Production Design by
Philip M. Jefferies (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Philip M. Jefferies  (as Philip Jefferies)
Set Decoration by
Harry Gordon 
Makeup Department
Delree F. Todd .... hair stylist (as Delree Todd)
Marvin G. Westmore .... makeup artist (as Marvin Westmore)
Production Management
Marty Hornstein .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Anthony Brand .... assistant director
Art Department
Chuck Clark .... scenic artist
Richard L. Cowitt .... assistant property master (as Richard Cowitt)
Allan Gordon .... property master
Sound Department
Cliff Bell Jr. .... dialogue editor
C. Darin Knight .... production sound mixer (as Darin Knight)
Cal Marks .... boom operator
Richard Portman .... dubbing mixer
Special Effects by
Gene Grigg .... special effects
Beau Gibson .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Ken John Borland .... key grip (as Ken Borland)
Larry Gilhooly .... gaffer
Robert C. Jessup .... director of photography: second unit (as Robert Jessup)
Lynn Lockwood .... director of photography: second unit
Marshall Marker .... still photographer
Herb Pearl .... operative cameraman
Giles Thevenaz .... assistant camera
Edward Borland .... best boy (uncredited)
Gary R. Wostak .... best boy (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
James M. George .... wardrobe
Location Management
Ron Windred .... location manager
Patty Shaw .... location production secretary (uncredited)
Music Department
Marshall Leib .... music coordinator
John Mick .... music editor
Transportation Department
Buster Kohloff .... transportation (as Buster Kohlhoff)
Dan Riportella .... transportation (as Danny Riportella)
Wayne Stone .... transportation
Greg Van Dyke .... transportation (as Greg VanDyke)
Fritz Braden .... driver: honeywagon (uncredited)
Other crew
Terry L. Behrens .... assistant to associate producer
Greg Blackwell .... assistant to associate producer (as Gregory S. Blackwell)
Richard Boguske .... assistant to associate producer
Carolyn Judd .... assistant to producer
H. Bud Otto .... script supervisor
Homer Sharavsky .... craft service
Huey Redwine .... stand-in (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
106 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
UK:AA (theatrical rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:PG

Did You Know?

Director Max Baer Jr. played Jethro Bodine in "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962).See more »
Continuity: As Papa Hartley and the three boys are battling it out in their trucks on the bridge the camera moves from inside the Hartley truck looking out to outside looking in. As they do this you see from the inside that the windshield in front of the driver is badly cracked but as they move to the outside angle it is not cracked at all.See more »
[first lines]
Billy Joe McAllister:HEY! I've been holding up this here bridge for over an hour so it wouldn't fall on you!
Bobbie Lee Hartley:Right neighborly of you, Mr. McAllister.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Ode to Billie JoeSee more »


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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
A sweet and tragic rural romance., 9 March 2003

ODE TO BILLY JOE is a humerous and touching tale of events leading up to why "Billy Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge", as related in the Bobbie Gentry hit. Director Max Baer Jr. (who would have thought "Jethro" had this kind of talent?) skillfully re-creates an atmosphere of 1950's rural Mississippi. and breathes life into characters only hinted at in the song. Scripted by Herman Raucher, with the same feeling of nostalgia he gave SUMMER OF '42, and beautifully scored by Michel Legrand, ODE TO BILLY JOE is a sweet and touching story of the awkwardness of teenage love, and the consequences of an unfortunate event, which, in today's politically correct times, would probably be scorned or laughed at. Glynnis O'Connor and Robby Benson, are re-teamed after their excellent debut in JEREMY. Another treasured film on VHS, that I hope will someday come out on DVD.

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