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Songwriter (1984)

Doc Jenkins is a singer/songwriter who tries to leave his singer/songwriter roots to be a music "mogul", and gets tangled up in a bad publishing deal. He enlists a team of cronies, ... See full summary »



Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doc Jenkins
Blackie Buck
Honey Carder
Dino McLeish
Mickey Raphael ...
Rhonda Dotson ...
Richard C. Sarafian ...
Rodeo Rocky
Sage Parker ...
Pattie McLeish
Stephen Bruton ...
Sam / Roarers Band
Glen Clark ...
Paul / Roarers Band


Doc Jenkins is a singer/songwriter who tries to leave his singer/songwriter roots to be a music "mogul", and gets tangled up in a bad publishing deal. He enlists a team of cronies, including a young singer and his former singing partner, Blackie Buck, and together they execute his plan to get out of the deal. He gets help from a stereotypical small-time concert promoter. Honey Carder is the love interest/ex-wife. Written by <marv@knology.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

country music | songwriter | See All (2) »


Willie and Kris on the road - sharing music...raising hell! See more »


Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dalszerző  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Austin location in Texas, USA was not without it's problems though. The city's usually mild winter months turned bitter, as a nationwide cold snap found it's way to Texas. December, a month in which temperatures normally range in the Fahrenheit degrees in the 50s and 60s (= 10-15 degrees Celsius), gave way to sub-freezing climates, finding cast and crew shooting outdoors in seventeen degrees Fahrenheit (= minus eight degrees Celsius), and wind chill factors which lowered that temperature to a chilling minus ten. A freak ice storm, something not seen by Texans in many years, forced the cancellation of a scene to be shot on a golf course. Alternate, indoor locations were found quickly, and the shooting continued on schedule. See more »


Doc Jenkins: I couldn't hate anybody.
Blackie Buck: You hate Rodeo Rocky.
Doc Jenkins: I couldn't hate a real, live, human being.
See more »

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User Reviews

16 February 2017 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Alan Rudolph always makes interesting films and this little-seen mid-80s effort is no exception. The plot involves a singer/songwriter who discovers that the record company who initially signed him up have screwed him over with a disadvantageous ironclad contract that he is unable to break. Not one to give up though, the music legend attempts to release his own songs using a female singer as a front, but will the record company eventually catch on? While this might sound very slim as far as plot lines go, 'Songwriter' is a film more about its characters than any story, with lots of memorable dialogue as lead actor Willie Nelson interacts with various associates who band together to help him out of the jam. "Everybody has to kill their own snakes," he philosophises at one point and a poolside treatment that one such associate gets from sleeping around leads to possibly the film's most memorable scene. The film takes a while to warm up though, and catchy as Kris Kristofferson's songs for the film may well be, the song performance scenes are never as interesting as the character drama, but generally speaking, this is a worthwhile experience. There is a lot of fun to be had in Nelson using the tricks of the trade that he has acquired over the years to get back at the record company and Lesley Ann Warren's internal dilemmas resonate as the young female singer fronting for Nelson. The title for the movie is really quite astute in this regard; it could apply equally to her and Nelson as the actual and fake songwriters of the film respectively.

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