As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Whit
...
Grandpa
...
Marlene
...
Emmy
...
Virgil
...
Arnspriger
...
Snuffy
...
Highway Patrolman
...
Dr. Hines
...
Henry Axle
...
Jim Bob
Rebecca Clemons ...
Belle
Johnny Gimble ...
Bob Wills
...
Blues Singer
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Storyline

As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the missus' brother. A roguish country-western musician, he has just been invited to audition for the Grand Ole Opry, his chance of a lifetime to become a success. However, this is way back in Nashville, Red clearly drives terribly, and he's broke and sick with tuberculosis to boot. Whit, 14, seeing his own chance of a lifetime to avoid "growing up to be a cotton picker all my life," begs Ma to let him go with Uncle Red as driver and protege. Thus begins a picaresque journey both hilarious and poignant. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The boy is on his way to becoming a man. The man is on his way to becoming a legend.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Última Canção  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,500,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood sings in this film and previously sang in the earlier Hollywood musical, Paint Your Wagon (1969) where he sang the songs "Elisa", "Gold Fever", "I Talk to the Trees", and a duet with Lee Marvin called "Best Things". According to ClintEastwood.Net, the songs "were mostly staged and sometimes simply played over the other action, almost as if they were a kind of narration". Eastwood is also heard on the soundtrack for Kelly's Heroes (1970) where he sings the songs "Burning Bridges" and its B-side, "When I Loved Her". Eastwood's voice can also be heard on such country and western recordings as Randy Travis' "Smokin' the Hive" and T.G. Sheppard's "Make My Day". See more »

Goofs

Ryman Auditorium is used as the setting for the Opry. This venue was not used until the 1940s, and the movie takes place in the 1930s. See more »

Quotes

Red Stovall: What's a girl like you going to do in Nashville? Have you any money or friends? What are you gonna do, live in the streets?
Marlene: The Lord will provide.
Red Stovall: He'd better provide you a way of gettin' there, too.
See more »

Connections

References When a Man Sees Red (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Honkytonk Man
Sung by Marty Robbins and Clint Eastwood
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User Reviews

Heading For The Promise Land
6 August 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Set in Depression era Oklahoma, this film tells the story of a dirt poor, alcoholic singer named Red Stovall (Clint Eastwood), who heads out for Nashville, in hopes of making it big as a country singer. The story begins on a dilapidated farm composed mostly of dust, where Red's sister hesitatingly allows her son Whit (Kyle Eastwood) to go with Red to Nashville. The kid's Grandpa (John McIntire) also wants to go, to return to his native Tennessee. The film's beginning is dreary and depressing, but wonderfully realistic of the dust bowl days of the 1930s.

Much of the plot takes place on the road, as the three travelers encounter an assortment of characters and problems along the way. The most important character they meet is a young girl named Marlene (the late Alexa Kenin), who yearns to be a country singer. It's one of many plot contrivances, but at least this contrivance offers some humor, especially when Marlene ... "sings". Other plot contrivances include a jailbreak, an angry bull, an aborted robbery, and an incident involving a chicken coop.

If the film's weakness is excess contrivances, the film's strength is the portrayal of Red as an interestingly complex character. He coughs a lot, a symptom of tuberculosis. And the TB is getting worse. The question is ... will Red be able to reach the promise land before the disease affects his ability to sing? And, in a long monologue aimed at Whit, Red talks about his long-ago love affair with Mary Sims.

The film's acting is credible, if not outstanding. Kyle Eastwood does a nice job as Whit. The film also features cameos by several then-current country singers. At the end, there's some sad real-life irony as Marty Robbins helps Red.

"Honkytonk Man" has some good atmosphere. Arguably, the best segment is at the Top Hat Club on Beale Street in Memphis, where the great Linda Hopkins belts out a blues number. If the film's writer had ditched some of those hokey "on the road" contrivances, and focused the plot more in smoky old bar rooms with low light levels and mournful music, the film would have been a lot better. As is, "Honkytonk Man" is still worth a look, if for no other reason than to see a low-key character study, in contrast to the brash and gaudy big ticket films of that cinematic era, like "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" and "Star Wars".


14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Marty Robbins macarthurp
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