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Songcatcher (2000)

 -  Drama | Music  -  1 March 2001 (Australia)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,609 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 77 user | 38 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in ... See full summary »

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Title: Songcatcher (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Professor Lily Penleric, PhD
...
Dean Arthur Pembroke (as Michael Davis)
...
Professor Wallace Aldrich, PhD
...
Fate Honeycutt
...
Eleanor 'Elna' Penleric
E. Katherine Kerr ...
Harriet Tolliver
...
Deladis Slocumb
...
Stephanie Roth Haberle ...
Alice Kincaid
...
Tom Bledsoe
Bart Hansard ...
Hilliard
Erin Blake Clanton ...
Polly
...
Earl Giddens
Kristin Hall ...
Isabel
...
Reese Kincaid
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Storyline

After being denied a promotion at the university where she teaches, Doctor Lily Penleric, a brilliant musicologist, impulsively visits her sister, who runs a struggling rural school in Appalachia. There she stumbles upon the discovery of her life - a treasure trove of ancient Scots-Irish ballads, songs that have been handed down from generation to generation, preserved intact by the seclusion of the mountains. With the goal of securing her promotion, Lily ventures into the most isolated areas of the mountains to collect the songs and finds herself increasingly enchanted - not only by the rugged purity of the music, but also by the raw courage and endurance of the local people as they carve out meaningful lives against the harshest conditions. It is not, however, until she meets Tom - a handsome, hardened war veteran and talented musician - that she's forced to examine her motivations. Is the "Songcatcher," as Tom insists, no better than the men who exploit the people and extort their ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and an intense scene of childbirth | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 2001 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Songcatcher  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$41,967 (USA) (15 June 2001)

Gross:

$3,050,934 (USA) (7 September 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Except for Dexter Speaks, when the other characters play banjo, we hear many more notes than they actually strum. See more »

Quotes

Viney Butler: Alice, you're gonna have to keep Reese away from you. Well, if you don't want butter, you gotta pull the dasher out in time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thank you to the people of Western Mountains of North Carolina. See more »

Soundtracks

Single Girl
Traditional folk song
Sung a cappella by Pat Carroll and Janet McTeer
See more »

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User Reviews

Lovely homage to Applachian song, plus great character work
11 February 2001 | by (North Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

Just saw this tonight as part of the Spirit Awards showings. A nice surprise, since I spend long hours listening to Alan Lomax's field recordings of mountaineers singing old ballads when I was at Bard College - and later parlayed that experience into a radio job, hosting a traditional music show.

That aspect alone should make anyone loves this music run to see the show. It's reproduced with great authority, and a lot of chestnuts which haven't been heard in Pop culture since Joan Baez are played much as they must have been when first heard: "Matty Groves", "Barbry Allen", "I Wish I Was Single Again", etc. The castng overall is superb - Janet McTeer is a unique and believable presence; Pat Carroll delightful as a mountain matriarch; Aiden Quinn his charming, virile self.

The plot is acceptable, if not 100% believable - several of the (discreet) sexual situations peppered throughout seem much colored by modern attitudes. Especially the reckless bit of carelessness which leads to one of the key catastrophes in the film. And these backwoods people are just a LITTLE too understanding on the issue involved.

On the other hand, several obvious threads veer into surprising directions - the ending being one of them. And the glimpse of Appalachian life will be a revelation to many.

Not to mention the music. Lots and lots of wonderful music. Including Emmy Lou Harris' (NOT Dolly Parton's) closing number over the credits.

Jim Chevallier North Hollywood, CA


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Oh my God jsadams-1
This movie would have been very good but for the sex and violence merle2
No More Southern Men Actors? jglapin
Suitable for children?? leisureclass
how does the song go? lilmonky
This is loosely based on a true story fletchokee
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