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Songcatcher (2000)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Music  |  27 July 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,725 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 78 user | 38 critic | 27 from

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


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


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 July 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dallamok szárnyán  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's director Maggie Greenwald and music composer David Mansfield are married. See more »


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


Tom Bledsoe: See, that's what you outlanders don't understand. Life is for enjoying, not just getting and working, and getting and working.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Sally Goodin
Traditional folk song
Played on violin by Josh Goforth and
Danced by E. Katherine Kerr, Taylor Hayes, Emmy Rossum, Rhoda Griffis,
Steve Boles
See more »

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User Reviews

Honest view of Appalachia circa early 1900's
1 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie accomplishes many things within the premise of "Songcatching". The movie exposes the hardships, ignorances, prejudices, resourcefulness, intelligence, commonsense and heart of the people who remained out of touch with "progress".

The movie has some graphic and controversial scenes; but the majority is appropriate for all ages.

The way the folk music is in-twined in the lives of the local people is magical and authentic. I wish a sound track was available with the full versions of the "collected" songs in the original voices of the actors, in the same simplistic way they were produced for the movie.

This is a movie I have enjoyed on many occasions and look forward to future viewings. I have purchased the DVD.

10 of 10 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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