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 ...
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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
For the scenes in which Tyrone Purvis (Danny Glover) is playing the piano, the close-ups of his hands were performed by Henderson Huggins, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based pianist and piano tuner. Huggins, who has been blind since childhood due to glaucoma, got the job when the movie's director and producer team of John Sayles and Maggie Renzi received a tape of Huggins from the Alabama Blues Project, a Tuscaloosa organization dedicated to musical education and the preservation of the history of Alabama Blues. See more »
Danny Glover is wearing invisible teeth braces throughout. See more »
OK, let me say right off the bat I am a little biased. This film was shot here in Alabama, and most of it was filmed right here in my home county of Butler. One of my high school classmate's son is featured throughout the movie as "Lonnie" and other folks I know served as extras or performed as part of the choir.
And I loved seeing the people and places I know up on the big screen. I think Maggie and John are "da bomb." The woman is a hugger; I love that warmth. John's the most down-to-earth guy.
That being said, I can also honestly report to you "Honeydripper" is a good movie - not perfect, but very much worth seeing. I think Danny Glover is sensational in the lead role as Pine Top and he and Charles Dutton are totally believable as two old pals fighting the odds to save Pine Top's blues club. Keb' Mo' is delightful as the "Greek Chorus" known as Possum, a mysterious and witty blind guitarist.
If you love blues music and early rock 'n' roll; if you enjoy a story that takes its time, one filled with complex characters and some memorable lines penned by Sayles - a movie made with love and lots of heart - then "Honeydripper" just might be for you.
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