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Country singer Travis (Dennis Quaid) and his younger sister Amanda (Kristy McNichol) travel to Nashville, Tennessee to find fame as singers. After getting into trouble with the law, Travis is sentenced to work detail at a prison farm. Amanda ends of falling in love with a police officer Conrad (Mark Hamill) who tries to help Travis out.
Just before the movie went into production, the Hollywood trade papers were touting that rising star Kristy McNichol was to headline in a comedy-drama with country music to be entitled "Ruby Red". See more »
The final fifteen minute segment gives the film at least some depth. But getting there is something of a chore. In this Kristy McNichol vehicle, a young country/western singer named Travis (Dennis Quaid) and his kid sister Amanda (McNichol) travel around the South playing honky-tonk joints, en route to Nashville, where they dream of making it big. Apart from the Southern setting, the plot has almost nothing in common with the title song, first recorded by Vicki Lawrence.
Most of the plot consists of bar room talk, with no fewer than three fights; country music with a couple of pretty good songs; and a rakish Travis chasing attractive females, much to the chagrin of the business oriented Amanda and jealous local rednecks. Until near the end, the story just repeats these three basic themes.
I didn't believe for a second that Amanda, as a 16-year-old, was capable either of deal making with record producers or performing professionally in front of an audience. Kristy McNichol is not convincing as a Southerner and neither is Mark Hamill. Dennis Quaid fares better in the role he plays.
Visuals, editing, costumes, and sets are okay but nothing special. The misleading title gives the impression of a hastily put together script to take financial advantage of the success of the Vicki Lawrence song. A thirty-minute short could have covered the same story ground and been less tedious to sit through.
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