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Tennessee (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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Tennessee -- When two very different brothers set out on a road trip to find their estranged father, they’re joined by a young waitress (Mariah Carey) with a dream who helps them overcome their past, confront the challenges in their future, and become a family again.
Tennessee -- The story of three people who strive to realize their dreams. Brothers Carter and Ellis set out on a road trip to their childhood home in a desperate search for their estranged father, who may hold the key to their future.


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Russell Schaumburg (written by)
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The story of three people who strive to realize their dreams. Brothers Carter and Ellis set out on a road trip to their childhood home in a desperate search for their estranged father, who may hold the key to their future. | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
'Just take a picture of the mountain' See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Adam Rothenberg ... Carter

Ethan Peck ... Ellis

Mariah Carey ... Krystal

Lance Reddick ... Frank
Ryan Lynn ... Carter - age 18

Michele Harris ... Karen

Bill Sage ... Roy

Melissa Benoist ... Laurel - age 18
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michele Ammon ... Police Dispatcher (voice)

Christopher Andrews ... Jackson
Jerry Biggs ... Manager
Ellie Braverman ... Woman in Line
Donna Brazier ... Nurse
Forrest Broadley ... Groundskeeper

Chris Browning ... Bouncer

Lawrence Bull Jr. ... Bar Patron

Camryn ... Patron (as Camryn Magness)
Harp Corrigan ... The Stranger
Aunt Dot ... Cook
Mary Evans ... Jackson's Mom
John Hardman ... Arkansas Clerk

David House ... Eugene

Dylan Kenin ... Boyfriend
Mary Layne ... Skinny Woman

Alex Manette ... Dr. McCullough

Debrianna Mansini ... Nurse Meyers
Nasser Metcalfe ... Dr. Maxwell
Tony Nudo ... Security Guard

Luce Rains ... Oklahoma Motel Clerk

Chris Ranney ... Bar Patron

Robyn Reede ... Darlene
Russell Schaumburg ... Host
Boots Southerland ... Pawn Shop Owner
Joshua Strother ... Young Carter
Sheila Ivy Traister ... Girlfriend
Noah Lee Trudell ... Young Carter
Charles Tucker ... Clerk (voice)
Lee Vervoort ... Bar Patron

Directed by
Aaron Woodley 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Russell Schaumburg  written by

Produced by
Lisa Cortes .... executive producer
Lee Daniels .... producer
Damon Dash .... executive producer
Tom Heller .... executive producer
Valerie Hoffman .... co-producer
Asger Hussain .... associate producer
Brad Kaplan .... co-executive producer
Jane Kelly Kosek .... executive producer
Gary Magness .... executive producer
Doreen S. Oliver-Akinnuoye .... associate producer
Chris Ridenhour .... co-executive producer (as Chris Ridenhour)
David Robinson .... executive producer (as Dave Robinson)
Sarah Siegel-Magness .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mario Grigorov 
Cinematography by
David Greene 
Film Editing by
Steve Edwards 
Casting by
Kerry Barden 
Suzanne Crowley 
Billy Hopkins 
Paul Schnee 
Production Design by
Aidan Leroux 
Art Direction by
RA Arancio-Parrain 
Set Decoration by
Heidi Mayfield 
Costume Design by
Deborah Everton 
Makeup Department
Linda Boykin-Williams .... second makeup artist
Melinda Dunn .... hair stylist
Jolynn Nieto .... assistant hair stylist
Pamela Roth .... makeup department head
Dana Vargas .... hair department head
Emily Vaughn .... makeup artist
Production Management
Dusty Dukatz .... production supervisor
Amy Krell .... post-production supervisor
Mark G. Mathis .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tara Cates .... second second assistant director: Nashville
Samantha Davis .... second assistant director
Dusty Dukatz .... first assistant director
Alisa Fredericks .... first assistant director
Michael A. Pinckney .... first assistant director: second unit
Art Department
Mark Bankins .... assistant property master
Lisa Corradino .... on-set dresser
Amy Giedraitis .... assistant property master
Jodi Nichols .... art department coordinator
Spencer Stair .... leadman
Shana Terrell .... set buyer
Jeffri Welsh .... property master
Meredith Woodley .... art department assistant
Cynthia Wynn .... swing
Sound Department
Benjamin Cheah .... sound re-recording mixer
Benjamin Cheah .... supervising sound editor
Drew Douthit .... sound editor
Robert Fernandez .... sound re-recording mixer
Matt Hamilton .... sound mixer: Nashville unit
Dan Korintus .... dialogue editor
Matthew Nicolay .... sound mixer
Mike Poppleton .... sound effects editor
Nicholas Renbeck .... dialogue editor
J. Seeman .... sound editor
Wyatt Sprague .... sound effects editor
Gregg Swiatlowski .... assistant sound editor
Visual Effects by
Erik Dehkhoda .... digital compositor
Erik Dehkhoda .... digital effects artist
Erick Geisler .... visual effects supervisor
John Lindstein .... digital compositor
Edward A. Duran .... stunt driver
Donna Evans .... stunt driver: Mariah Carey
Jeremy Fry .... utility stunts
Buddy Sosthand .... stunt double: Lance Reddick
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Bacharka .... lighting technician
Chip Byrd .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Scott Clark .... dolly grip
Christopher Crowther .... electrician
Anne Marie Fox .... still photographer
Drew Frazier .... electrician
Hank Herrera .... key grip
James King .... grip
David Mellow .... first assistant camera: Nashville
Joshua Miller .... grip
Stephen Mullen .... gaffer
Paul Owens .... documentary videographer
Antonio Ponti .... assistant camera
James R. Powell .... second assistant camera
Jessica Ramos .... film loader
Monty Rowan .... camera operator
Scott Satterfield .... best boy grip
Asif Siddiky .... documentary videographer
Eric Steinig .... grip
Carl Vigil .... best boy electric
Ben Watkins .... additional gaffer
Ben Watkins .... grip and electrical equipment supplier
Darryl Wilson .... key grip
Casting Department
Kathryn Brink .... casting: Albuquerque
Leah Daniels .... casting: Los Angeles
Jo Doster .... casting: Tennessee
Jessica Kelly .... casting assistant
Steve Raye Stannard .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Fran Allgood .... costume supervisor
Jennifer Evans .... costumer (2007)
Elizabeth Lancaster .... key set costumer
Editorial Department
Andrew Drapkin .... digital intermediate colorist
Michael Jacks .... DI data wrangler
Roger La Prairie .... colorist: dailies
Lance Stubblefield .... assistant editor
Music Department
Dan Evans Farkas .... music editor
A.J. Lambert .... music supervisor
Brigitte Mueller .... music consultant
E.C. Woodley .... composer: additional music
Transportation Department
Kari Bernhardt .... driver
Christy Claunch .... driver
William P. Davis .... transportation coordinator
Dave Hodgin Jr. .... transportation coordinator
Lance Leis .... driver
Benjamin McDade .... driver: cast
Chris McDade .... production driver
Mike McKenny .... driver: cast
Other crew
Gaetano Akiya .... first assistant accountant
Stephanie Beman .... key craft service
Cynthia Bernal .... production intern
Steve Boyle .... post-production accountant
Sherrie Bradshaw .... production accountant
Ronald L. Carr .... location manager
Carol A. Compton .... script clearance
Cariad Dillon .... production intern
Gregory Doucette .... script supervisor
Brooke Fair .... assistant craft service
Dann Fink .... adr loop group director
Jonathan Gray .... production counsel
Patricia Greer .... production assistant
Justin Jones .... production assistant
Bill Kelman .... assistant location manager
Melanie Kirk .... assistant production coordinator
Cherron Kofford .... production assistant
Dustin Lane .... production assistant
Gabrielle Lasting .... assistant production office coordinator
Andre Leavell .... production assistant
Matt Mcalister .... production assistant
James R. Powell .... assistant: camera crew
Robert Profusek .... assistant: Lee Daniels
Mark Ragland .... location manager
Reid Rosefelt .... unit publicist
Andre Ross .... production assistant
Dona Spangler .... production coordinator: Nashville
Kim Thrasher .... location assistant
Jacob Uher .... payroll accountant
Betty Weaver .... production coordinator
James Weems .... assistant location manager: Tennessee
Ayla Wilder .... production assistant
Ryan Zacarias .... key production assistant
David H. Kramer .... adr loop group (uncredited)
Bill Timoney .... adr voice group (uncredited)
Nathan Lux .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Rated R for language
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Val Kilmer, who lives on a nearby New Mexico ranch, initially agreed to participate in this film secondary to his work with New Mexico's Film Investment Program, but as production neared he was forced to decline secondary to other commitments.See more »
Right to DreamSee more »


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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
'Just take a picture of the mountain', 28 December 2010
Author: gradyharp from United States

TENNESSEE is a minimalist film: there is very little dialogue, not a lot of movement, not a huge climax. It just happens and while it is happening it changes you. Though it is a small budget film it makes a big impact, making us wish that there were more films like this to counterbalance all the big over the top bonanzas that seem to rule the theater circuit. It is gently written (by Russell Schaumburg), sensitive directed by Aaron Woodley, and acted with honesty by a fine young cast.

Ellis (Ethan Peck, definitely an actor on the rise) and Carter (Adam Rothenberg (ditto) are brothers; their mother is dead and their father has a history of abusing the boys to the point that Ellis and Carter no longer see him. Ellis is a photographer by hobby, taking photographs of mountains and landscapes in their Tennessee small town: Carter drinks too much but looks after his younger brother. Ellis is diagnosed as having leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant - Carter offers but despite being siblings the match is not adequate. The brothers set out on a trip to be together and end up in New Mexico. But soon they are on the road again and in Texas they pause at a diner where they meet Krystal (Mariah Carey) waiting tables, but preferring to write songs. Seeing that the brothers have no money, Krystal takes them home - she is married to an alcoholic Texas Ranger Frank (Lance Reddick) who routinely beats her and demands that the 'freeloaders' be gone in the morning. The next morning the three of them take the car and head to Tennessee - the boys have decided that Ellis' only hope is to find their father to see if he is a candidate to donate bone marrow. The three are chased by Frank until they finally reach Tennessee where, for need of cash, Krystal sings in a nightclub contest and captures the audience's approval while she now has money to give to the brothers to find their father.

How these disparate, desperate people come together emotionally and the manner in which the story ends may seem too pat for some, but for viewers with vulnerable hearts this little film will be fulfilling. Each of the cast is excellent, but it is such a pleasure to see Mariah Carey in a role that merits her talent and find that she handles it so well is rewarding. It is a small story with a huge heart.

Grady Harp

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