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1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the chicken man, and the landlord, Tyrone is desperate to lure the young cotton pickers and local Army base recruits into his juke joint, away from Touissant's, the rival joint across the way. His plan to hire a guitar legend go awry and Tyrone is forced to take drastic action in a final scheme to save the club. Written by
John Sayles has done it again. He has taken a world class cast (including Danny Glover),some crisp photography,a very well written & directed script & a music score to die for, and has made screen magic. The story concerns an embittered juke joint owner (Glover),an ex musician himself,trying to make ends meet with a club on the outs,who is trying one last move to avoid closure by hiring a well known musician named Guitar Sam,to try & fill his club. Add a few other elements (a wife who is serious about re-connecting with her faith,a corrupt sheriff,and other elements),and the formula for a successful story is all set. The story is set in the racial segregated South of 1950. Although the film was shot in 2007, it is now just getting some scattered distribution. This film deserves far better than it's getting. The music score (composed and/or arranged by Sayles' favourite composer,Mason Daring)is a out & out toe tapper (which includes Delta Blues,Stride Piano,Gospel,Rhythm & Blues--years before it would be coined 'Rock & Roll' by Alan Freed). Honestly, Honeydripper (the name of the juke joint coined by the films title) is one for anyone who is interested in early creative black music(s).
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