True Stories (1986)

PG  |   |  Musical, Comedy  |  10 October 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,439 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 24 critic

A small but growing Texas town, filled with strange and musical characters, celebrates its sesquicentennial and converge on a local parade and talent show.


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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator / Lip-Syncher / Talking Heads singer
Kay Culver
The Lying Woman
Earl Culver
The Cute Woman
Roebuck 'Pops' Staples ...
Mr. Tucker
Tito Larriva ...
Ramon (as Humberto 'Tito' Larriva)
The Preacher
Matthew Posey ...
The Computer Guy
Miss Rollings
Freeman Beatty ...
Evelyn Box ...
Hey Now Kid
Kevin Box ...
Hey Now Kid
Amy Buffington ...
Linda Culver


David Byrne of Talking Heads fame visits a typical (and fictional) Texas town, on the eve of the town's celebration of the state's sesquicentennial. He meets various colorful local characters, most notably Lewis Fyne, a big-hearted bachelor in search of matrimony. Written by Tim Horrigan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Completely Cool, Multi-Purpose Movie. See more »


Musical | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alithines istories  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,545,142 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Most of the vocal work done by the film's stars, including that of singer Pops Staples, was not released. Instead, Talking Heads recorded an album featuring their versions of the songs. Nearly every song from the movie was released on a soundtrack album, performed by the film actors and nearly all of the background music as well. It included John Goodman's version of PEOPLE LIKE US. See more »


The movie supposedly takes place in the town of Virgil, Texas. However, in one scene where little children in 4-H shirts are dancing in a field, a water tower is briefly visible in the background that clearly says "RED OAK". See more »


Narrator: Excuse me, Mr. Culver. I forget what these peppers represent.
See more »

Crazy Credits

1. Two columns of rolling credits run at different speeds. Left faster than right, then right faster than left. See more »


References 60 Minutes (1968) See more »


The Celebration Begins
Written and Performed by David Byrne
Produced by Talking Heads
See more »

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User Reviews

Folk art in a little big town
26 December 2005 | by (st louis) – See all my reviews

The film itself is rich in it's look and content. True stories is Set in A fictional small town in Texas, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the state in it's own small way. Byrne points out how many small American towns shape themselves politically and culturally from the inside. The scenes of the vast Texas landscape reflect the isolation of little Virgil. Byrne drives past a row of brand new houses with four car garages and asks "who do you think lives here?", much like he does in some of his TH songs such as "Big Country" and "Dont Worry About the Government". When we do meet who lives there we are greeted by a quite eclectic bunch; the world's laziest woman, Louis the desperate bachelor, Ramon, the voodoo priest. Often when we visit small unassuming towns, we are surprised by what we find. Byrne's character obviously had some assumptions about Virgil, Texas. He walks around town in a stetson hat and cowboy shirts and wonders why everyone else doesn't dress the same way. The songs are terrific in the film. I was well familiar with the TH album of the same name before I saw the film, but many of the renditions are on par with the unofficial soundtrack, particularly "papa legba" and Goodman's "people like us". The movie is an homage to Byrne's fascination to small town America and folk art. Byrne's commentary over a series of photo montages are great too, like when he gives the history of Texas in about 3 minutes noting that "the Spaniards offered the indians a chance to become slaves. The indians thought about this, decided it was not a good idea, and killed the Spaniards" Those that really dislike this movie are, on some level, just not getting it.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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