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Whoever write this movie must have been a big fan of Willie Nelson and Texas Country music. The plot is right out of a Willie Nelson song, he wrote many tear-jerkers, and you see many cameos of Willie's musician friends and fellow Texas musicians like Emmylou Harris, Jeanne Sealey, the Gimbles and on and on. Willie basically plays himself, his look is the same and he sings his own hits and travels with his own tour band. Hearing him called "Buck Bonham" will seem a little jarring to his fans, but just go with it. Dyan Cannon is beautiful as his long-suffering wife, Slim Pickens (one of the strangest stage names in Hollywood..) is great as the father of the love interest and an old musician friend of "Buck". Amy Irving is the love interest and one can imagine an old tired out country singr falling for this sweet young girl. If you like Willie you have probaby seen this movie and don't need my two cents, if you don't care for Willie or country music, you might want to steer clear. This is a country music lovers movie. I would imagine this is why it didn't do better in the box office at first run but seems to have done better on cable.
Buck Bonham(Willie Nelson) and Garland Ramsey(Slim Pickens) are two country
stars that have been on the road for probably too many years. Garland wants
to retire and Buck is too stubborn to. There needs to be a temporary
replacement for Garland and it is suggested that Garland's daughter
Irving)go out with Buck and the band for a few weeks.
Lily is living a dream being on the road and even more she acts on her long admiration for Buck. The two singers become an item and soon they don't even try to hide their entanglement.
There is a lot of Willie songs throughout and any Willie fan should feel high on the hog. For the non Willie fan it is still a good film, where your brain kind of slips into neutral.
Dyan Cannon plays Buck's wife and sure looks too hot for the role. Others in the cast are Lane Smith, Diana Scarwid and Mickey Rooney, Jr. Emmylou Harris drops in for a cameo role.
Gas up the tour bus and chase the white line.
Let's get it on DVD. Willie and Dyan are great and the whole movie is first class entertaining. Humor, music and romance. Give this movie what it deserves and make all those thousands of fans happy. I have seen this movie about three times and every time again it was like new. It gives a good idea how a band on the road is living and though it's a tough life, it's a good life. I am country singer myself and a lot of Willies songs I perform. He and the late Waylon are my favourites. So this movie means a lot to me.This story is not a fiction, it is as if you are watching your own life passing by.I can understand Willie when Amy tries to make love to him, but at the end Willie returns to his beautiful Dyan. The story of life for so many people.
I liked the movie, although I don't care a thing for Willie or his music. His band members did a good job as actors, and Slim Pickens was great as the booze swilling guitar player. The scene near the end where Pickens tried to kill Nelson was hilarious. The story never got real emotional nor did it drag around too much, so I considered it good enough.
The rest of us, on the other hand.... we might think it's okay. Perhaps
if I hadn't seen Tender Mercies so recently, then Honeysuckle Rose
might have seemed better. Where as Mercies had a real actor trying to
play a country singer, this one has a real country singer trying to
act. The results just aren't as good, but Willie is the last person I'd
blame. This is more of a showcase for Nelson's music than it is a
regular film with a well-developed story line. Nelson's acting is
really pretty good, when they let him act.
The plot centers around a successful, yet not quite hugely popular country singer going out on the road and having an affair with a young member of his band. Nelson is perfectly suited for the role of Buck Bonham who needs a fill-in guitar player after his long time ax player (Slim Pickens) retires from the band. As luck would have it, his plucky young daughter (Amy Irving) can also play a mean guitar and eagerly accepts the position meant to only last a few weeks. But of course this leads to all kinds of hurt feelings and conflict as the young woman admits a long time crush on the old crooner and the two quickly begin sleeping together. Bonham's band mates can only do their best to look in the other direction as it is an awkward situation for them, too. They are close with the girls father of course, and also quite friendly with Bonham's long suffering wife played very well by Dyan Cannon. Obviously, it is only a matter of time before those left at home find out, and things will most certainly come crashing down.
The film runs for quite a long time considering how little plotting there is. Much of the film takes place on stage with Willie and the band belting out a lot of slow, emotional country songs to a doting fan base. The director of this film, who I've never heard of, seems to struggle with the material when scenes are taking place off stage. He seems to put the camera too far away from the actors, taking some of the edge off their more dramatic scenes. The film is also under-lit, even for a film taking place mostly on a gloomy tour bus and darkened venues. Exterior shots of the bus traveling down the road look pretty good, though. The acting by all is quite good. Cannon has the most memorable lines, most of which coming when she announces their divorce in front of a packed house after catching Nelson and Irving slobbering over each other during a duet. Pickens is as watchable as ever, and likely didn't make many more films after this. Irving is quite good, as well. So is the fellow who plays Nelson's manager.
Only fans of Willie Nelson are bound to get a real kick from this film, and I'm sure many of them did. He has such a wonderful and distinct style that he deserves a feature film of this type. As a film buff I just wanted more focus on the story and to learn more about these characters. Again I would recommend the film Tender Mercies which basically takes the Buck Bonham kind of character a few years later into his life. To a place where he has finally hit rock bottom and lost most of those around him who ever cared about him. It's highly likely that Buck Bonham would have eventually landed on the same motel room floor somewhere and not have a clue how he got there. 6 of 10 stars.
I loved this movie and finally was able to get a VHS tape on the internet after trying video catalogs for years. I have listened to the soundtrack when I'm busy, and it still gets to me. I can believe the storyline about the mutual attraction between Willie and his "temporary" singer. The climactic scenes were hilarious. I liked this movie so well that I also bought "Songwriter". I guess I'm going through a Willie Nelson period, but I have enjoyed him in all of his movies, starting with his short bit in "Electric Horseman", where I first noticed him. I had never heard his music until after I "discovered" him in "Electric Horseman". If I have any complaint about his music, it is that "On the Road Again" is way too short. I think that,as an actor, he grows on you and continues to get better each time, much like Chuck Norris did.
Willie is one of our National treasures in my opinion. I suppose some
people would disagree, and that's o.k., you have every right to be wrong.
The best part of this film, I felt, was the fairly much realistic portrayal of what life is like on the road for entertainers. Or, more accurately what is was like back when this film was made. Who better to play the lead than one who's probably logged a million or so miles out there between the ditches? I also loved Slim Pickens performance, and the camaraderie between Willie and Slim was hilarious and heartwarming.
I can't imagine anyone in the world who hasn't seen this film. It should be required viewing for any new converts to Country Music. I gave this film a rating of 9 - shaving off one point for the aggrandizement of boozing/pill popping and womanizing. But you gotta love Willie et al in spite of it. Maybe because of it, who knows?
Acting-vehicle for real-life country singing star Willie Nelson didn't make a ripple at the box-office, not even with his devout listeners, and within the film's first half-hour it becomes apparent why: Nelson is basically playing a variation of himself--and not a terribly flattering one--and a star who soils his own character has a tough time being heard. Willie plays a country crooner with a devoted and gorgeous wife (Dyan Cannon, filling the bill nicely), getting the urge to cheat on his spouse with the nubile female musician who just joined his outfit (Amy Irving). The script is full of eye-rolling drama and sentiment, and when it isn't echoing other films, such as "Intermezzo", it's busy parlaying this superstar into a flawed Everyman. Since the other characters are so poorly-defined, one has little else to do than watch Nelson acting as his own shadow. "On the Road Again" indeed. *1/2 from ****
Willie Nelson is my favorite he been my favorite singer ever since i
heard his song "The harder they come" a version of jimmy cliff which
amazed me! I love the man dearly and had to buy and see this film and
I'm glad i did i was not slightly disappointed. All songs i love and
story line great it pretty much his life of being on the road away from
family and on drugs. Good story line which was entertaining throughout
the whole film.
It for all Willie and country music fans. I don't think many non fans of them two will like his film but if you do you would definitely love it so purchase this DVD!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A couple of things surprise me about the listing for this movie on
IMDb; first, it only merits a 6.2 rating as I write this, and second,
there are only fifteen other user reviews here ahead of me. I thought
there would have been a lot more Willie Nelson fans out there ready to
offer up their thoughts on the film. Personally, I enjoyed the heck out
of it every time I've seen it, most notably for the music, but also for
the poignant story line about a big time singer breaking out and how
hard it is to stay faithful while out 'on the road again'.
As for the music, most of the Willie Nelson standards are here, and if I were writing the screenplay, the only one I would have added to the song list would have been 'Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys'; the story line looked like it could have supported that one any number of places. A nice surprise was hearing how well Dyan Cannon and Amy Irving sounded in the numbers they came in on, and every tune was expertly selected to define the scene it was done in. Especially poignant was Viv Bonham's (Cannon) rendition of "Two Sides to Every Story" as philandering husband Buck (Nelson) joined in during the Garland Ramsey (Slim Pickens) celebration.
The first time I saw this picture many years ago, I felt kind of bad for Lily Ramsey (Irving) during that final performance, seeing as she was on the outside looking in so to speak, as the Bonham's patched up their differences on stage and forgave each other their indiscretions. Watching the film today, it came across more realistically than when I first saw it, as Lily recognized it as her duty to step aside for a marriage that had endured a long time through thick and thin much before she ever came on the scene. It made for a bittersweet reconciliation on her part, as well as for the Bonham's.
I'll tell you what though, there was no shortage of scenes in which Budweiser and Coca-Cola made their presence felt throughout the picture, with able assists by Michelob and Lone Star Beer. Willie's buddies, the Walker Brothers were on hand too, you know, Black and Red. The product placement for this film was all over the place, but even that couldn't hold a candle to Cotton Roberts' dazzling outfit. Who would have guessed that was Mickey Rooney, Jr.!
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