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Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)

PG | | Action, Comedy | 21 August 1981 (USA)
Ticlaw, a small town in Florida, has only one attraction: a safari park. The government constructs a freeway that passes near Ticlaw, but decides not to put an exit into the town. The ... See full summary »


John Schlesinger


Edward Clinton

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4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
David Rasche ... Eddie White
Paul Jabara Paul Jabara ... T.J. Tupus
Howard Hesseman ... Snapper
Teri Garr ... Ericka
Jenn Thompson Jenn Thompson ... Delia
Peter Billingsley ... Little Billy
Beau Bridges ... Duane Hansen
Beverly D'Angelo ... Carmen Odessa Shelby
Daniel Stern ... Hitchhiker
Sandra McCabe Sandra McCabe ... Prostitute
Celia Weston ... Grace
Deborah Rush ... Sister Mary Magdalene
Geraldine Page ... Sister Mary Clarise
George Dzundza ... Eugene
Joe Grifasi ... Osvaldo


Ticlaw, a small town in Florida, has only one attraction: a safari park. The government constructs a freeway that passes near Ticlaw, but decides not to put an exit into the town. The people of Ticlaw, led by its Mayor, will do anything in order to convince the governor to alter the project. Written by Michel Rudoy <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PROMISES ARE MADE IN HEAVEN - But carried out on Earth See more »


Action | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

21 August 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Da steht der ganze Freeway Kopf See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$939,423, 23 August 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)
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Did You Know?


Due to delays in filming the movie, the Mount Dora section of the picture was was pushed back until the 1980 summer when it had meant to shoot there in spring. See more »


During the scene where the orphans are being shown the petting zoo, a crew member or the director can be heard giving the cue to "Scream! Scream! Ricky!" as the children become afraid of the white horse they've mistaken for "Ricky the Carnivorous Pony." See more »


Sherm: Do you have to booze it up, Carol?
Carol: A mixed drink is not booze, Sherman, it's a cocktail, a before-dinner drink.
Sherm: But dinner isn't for five hours yet.
See more »


References To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »


You're Crazy But I Like You
Written by Frank Musker and Dominic Bugatti
Performed by Roger Cook and Linda Hart
See more »

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User Reviews

A fast, funny and surprising satire of American enterprise.
24 May 2002 | by SanDiegoSee all my reviews

HONKY TONK FREEWAY involves a small Florida tourist town named Ticaw and the people who live there, led by William Devane playing the part of the Mayor/Preacher Kirby T. Calo who also operates a hotel and tiny wildlife safari park. The town's major draw is a water-skiing elephant named Bubbles. When the state highway commission builds a freeway adjacent to the town, Devane slips an official 10,000 dollars to assure an off ramp. The off ramp doesn't come so the townsfolk literally paint the town pink to attract visitors. Meanwhile, we are introduced to several characters from various parts of the United States all for one reason or another are heading to Florida. We know they will all end up in Ticaw but finding out why and how is half the fun. There are bank robbers from New York (George Dzundza, Joe Grifasi) who pick up a cocaine dealing hitchhiker (Daniel Stern), a Chicago copy machine repairman and wannabe children's author Duane Hansen (Beau Bridges) who picks up a waitress Carmen Odessa Shelby (Beverly D'Angelo) who is carrying her mother's ashes to Florida, a dentist and his family (Howard Hesseman, Teri Garr, Peter Billingsly) vacationing cross country in their RV, an elderly woman Carol (Jessica Tandy) with a drinking problem and her loving husband Sherm (Hume Cronyn, of course), two nuns (mother superior Geraldine Page, novice nun Deborah Rush), a wannabe country song writer hauling a playful rhino and other wild animals to Ticaw, and more. This is a very funny movie with quirky interesting characters, good actors, a great director (John Schlesinger who helmed Midnight Cowboy, Marathon Man and The Falcon and the Snowman) and a mix of slapstick comedy in the tradition of It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and biting satire of American small towns such as Cold Turkey. Think Mayberry meets Picket Fences, or Hal Needham meets Robert Altman. A fun film with where half the fun is to see who's going to show up in the film and what's going to happen next.

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