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Honeydripper (2007)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, History  |  9 May 2008 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,651 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 27 user | 70 critic | 27 from

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 ... See full summary »



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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief violence and some suggestive material | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

9 May 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Honeydripper - Do Blues ao Rock  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,856 (USA) (28 December 2007)


$267,880 (USA) (20 June 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The principal shooting location was less than 50 yards from Hank Williams's boyhood home. See more »


Though set in 1950 the one dollar bills paid to get into the show by patrons are not silver certificates but rather current currency. See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 5 January 2008 (2008) See more »


Don't Leave Me Here
Written by Robert Brown
Published by Universal Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Performed by Mable John (as Dr. Mable John)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Welome Return by America's Great Independent Working Class Film Maker
2 February 2008 | by (Oshawa, Ontario,Canada) – See all my reviews

This is not a great movie by any stretch, but it is a very GOOD one. My rating should be 7.8. IMDb, invest in some higher technology! John Sayles proves yet again what can be done when there is unity of vision on a film, and when everyone involved passionately believes in what they are doing. Any limitations this film has must surely be due to the budget (was there one?) rather than any creative lapses on Sayles' part.

In fact, the only problems I have with "Honeydripper" are technical: some of the shots are out of focus, some of the scenes drag, and there is not a lot of dramatic tension to carry the piece along. It is enough, though, for those of us who can handle something more relaxed than the kinetics of Michael Bey or Steven ("I'll do anything for an Oscar!") Spielberg.

"Honeydripper" is really a small character study of a working class man, surrounded by good people, who is trying do do right by them and himself. It is a romance for the nostalgia of the Deep South in 1950, a period where Jim Crow was on the cusp of yielding to John Kennedy.

It is also a romance for music, where Gospel and Blues was about to fuse and metamorphise into Rock 'n Roll. Sayles loves everything he is doing; you can feel the writer/director's respect and integrity through the camera and the screen.

Unusual for a Sayles film, Danny Glover anchors the piece as its central character, the axis upon which the story and all the characters revolve. All the characters are complete human beings, with only a few drawn as caricatures. I don't mind.

This would be a good film to show as a double bill with "The Great Debators". Several themes overlap, but "Honeydrippers" is the more mature film. Here, a man's biggest grievance is not being able to live in dignity as a man who pays his way. Sayles' characteristic character arcs provide us with many dignified men and women who achieve that dignity by finding ways to honestly pay their way. They do it with joy, love and creativity.

Another fine Working Class film from Cinema's Working Class Hero.

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

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