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Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)

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 »

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writer:

Edward Clinton
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$939,423, 23 August 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$2,004,742
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Wikipedia, the movie "was one of the most expensive box office flops in history, losing its British backers Thorn-EMI an estimated $11,000,000 and profoundly impacting its fortunes and aspirations. The film was financed in part by Roy Tucker's tax avoidance schemes funded by the Rossminster banking group". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Carmen Odessa Shelby: The International House of Pancakes is the one consistent thing in my life.
See more »

Connections

References To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

My Man Ain't Enough for Me
Written by Paul Jabara and Jennifer Lee
Performed by Beverly D'Angelo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A satirical look at the automobile culture
23 August 2004 | by bbhlthphSee all my reviews

The obsession of modern society with the ownership of a personal automobile is a very appropriate subject for satire. One could consider the role of private vehicles as one of the important elements in population control (although limited in its value by the associated medical costs!). Alternatively one could assess the role of the automobile in the atmospheric pollution that threatens dramatic changes of climate which will have a devastating effect on the lives of all of us; or one could look at the long term impact of more and more fertile agricultural land becoming sterilized by the construction of wide concrete freeways. There is plenty of scope for the inventive film maker to deal with such major themes. Instead most of the films dealing with this issue which have been released so far, raise only such trivial concerns as the infatuation of teenagers with acquiring ownership of their own vehicle, or occasionally with the problems associated with 'driving under the influence'. The film Honky Tonk Freeway is a noble exception to this collection of triviata. In it, the director John Schlesinger takes a long and very devastating look at yet another aspect of the automobile culture, the need for small towns to be closely connected to a major highway network if they are not to just fade away.

The film features Ticklaw, a Florida town that has become largely dependent upon the income brought in by short stay tourists heading towards the nearby coast. A new freeway under construction does not provide a promised access junction and the long term implications for the town are serious. The story line is the series of increasingly dramatic steps taken by the town to ensure that it remains an attractive stopping off point for through travellers. The film is a comedy with an edge and with very sharp characterisation. Unfortunately much of it is overdrawn to the point where it almost becomes pure slapstick, and for me this detracts a lot from the message of the film. However, although overlong, it remains quite enjoyable to watch; and the sequences showing an elephant being trained to waterski to entertain the visitors are almost etched in my memory. This could have been a really great film, but unfortunately much of it was so overdrawn that I can only recognise it as a near miss.


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