7.3/10
4,629
54 user 40 critic

Bound for Glory (1976)

The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer.

Director:

Hal Ashby

Writers:

Robert Getchell (screenplay), Woody Guthrie (autobiography)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Carradine ... Woody Guthrie
Ronny Cox ... Ozark Bule
Melinda Dillon ... Mary - Woody's Wife / Memphis Sue
Gail Strickland ... Pauline
John Lehne John Lehne ... Locke - Radio Station Manager
Ji-Tu Cumbuka ... Slim Snedeger - Hobo on Train
Randy Quaid ... Luther Johnson - Migrant Worker
Elizabeth Macey Elizabeth Macey ... Liz - Johnson's Wife
Susan Vaill ... Gwen Guthrie
Sarah Vaill Sarah Vaill ... Gwen Guthrie
Alexandra Mock Alexandra Mock ... Sue Guthrie
Kimberly Mock Kimberly Mock ... Sue Guthrie
Miriam Byrd-Nethery ... Sick Woman - Water-Swallowing Scene (as Miriam Byrd Nethery)
Jane Lambert Jane Lambert ... Other Woman - Water-Swallowing Scene
Jan Burrell ... Other Woman - Water-Swallowing Scene
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Storyline

This film is an excellent biography of Woody Guthrie, one of America's greatest folk singers. He left his dust-devastated Texas home in the 1930s to find work, and discovered the suffering and strength of America's working class. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Woody Guthrie. his music has become as much a part of America as its mountains, its rivers, its forests and its people. His life has touched all our lives. This is his story.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At various times in the film three actors make an appearance. They are M. Emmet Walsh, Brion James and James Hong. They all appeared in Blade Runner (1982). See more »

Goofs

Guthrie's singing partner on KFVD radio in Los Angeles was not named Memphis Sue. Her real name was Maxine Crissman, and she was known as "Lefty Lou," because she shared Guthrie's politics and was just as outspoken. In fact, Guthrie was never pressed to stop singing union-organizing songs; the station owner, Frank Burke, was a populist New Dealer who agreed with Guthrie. The reason Woody was fired was because after the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in 1939, he started singing songs that, mirroring the Communist Party line, denounced the war as a capitalist fraud. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hank - Man in Gas Station: ['California Water Tastes Like Cherry Wine' plays in the background'] What's the matter?
Carl - Man in Gas Station: Hey, Wood.
Woody Guthrie: Yeah.
Old Man Jenkins - Gas Station Owner: Cherry wine.
Old Man Jenkins - Gas Station Owner: [Jenkins turns off the record player] Goddamit, Woody. I got half a notion to pull up stakes and hit the road for California.
Carl - Man in Gas Station: I been thinking about down the Gulf of Mexico... or the Rio Grande valley. Just somewheres I can grow some fruit, peaches. Them Indian blood peaches with that red meat.
Old Man Jenkins - Gas Station Owner: Shit fire, Carl! Why down there? In California you just plop a seed into the ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

California Water Tastes Like Cherry Wine
Adaptation by Guthrie Thomas
See more »

User Reviews

Great performance from...David Carradine!!??
11 November 2001 | by curtis-8See all my reviews

"Bound For Glory" is a very involving and interesting movie in a hypnotic, slow-moving seventies kind of way. In fact, for the first 45 minutes I was watching it on cable TV, I had no idea why I was watching it. Nothing much was happening. The "story" was episodic and meandering. But I did watch the thing all the way through--all 2 and a half hours of it. In retrospect, I can now see some reasons why the film held me so. To begin with, the cinematography is beautiful and the music is wonderful. But mostly it was the acting, which is uniformly excellent in a naturalistic way that is rarely seen these days. I had the impression I was peeking in on real people and events, not on movie actors playing out a script. The biggest revelation, however, was David Carradine, who gives an amazing performance as Woody Guthrie. He's just living the part. I mean--what has the guy ever done before or since that even hinted at the fact that he could act so damn well? Nothing, that's what! Carradine's performance in "Bound for Glory" reminds me of two other, more recent performances in similar films: Ashley Judd in Victor Nunez's "Ruby in Paradise" and Peter Fonda in the role that gave him an Oscar nomination, "Ulee's Gold", also by Nunez.

In these films you can see the main character thinking, breathing--living. Not acting out some melodrama.

Another common thread runs between these three performances, too: none of these actors have been allowed to (or been able to?) do work anywhere near as good again. The post-"Ruby" Judd has gone on to major in spunky thriller heroines and Fonda has drifted back off the map to wherever he was before "Ulee."

But Carradine is the one who really breaks your heart. He has continued acting, like Judd. But the horrendous quality of his projects make you wish he'd disappeared back in to the vapor of obscurity, like Fonda. After watching "Bound For Glory", the sight of Carradine zombie-walking through an episode of "Kung Fu: the Legend Continues" or snarling like a brain-dead idiot in one of his European-made direct-to-video action cheapies is enough to make you cry. The massive talent he wasted.

Still, many actors never have even one moment of glory.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bound for Glory See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bound for Glory See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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