129 user 87 critic

A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004)

R | | Drama | 21 January 2005 (USA)
2:14 | Trailer
A headstrong young woman returns to New Orleans after the death of her estranged mother.


Shainee Gabel


Ronald Everett Capps (novel), Shainee Gabel (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Bobby Long
Scarlett Johansson ... Pursy Will
Gabriel Macht ... Lawson Pines
Deborah Kara Unger ... Georgianna
Dane Rhodes ... Cecil
David Jensen ... Junior
Clayne Crawford ... Lee
Sonny Shroyer ... Earl
Carol Sutton ... Ruthie
Walter Breaux Walter Breaux ... Ray
Warren Kole ... Sean (as Warren Blosjo)
Bernard Johnson Bernard Johnson ... Tiny
Gina 'Ginger' Bernal Gina 'Ginger' Bernal ... Waitress
Douglas M. Griffin ... Man #1 (as Douglas Griffin)
Earl Maddox Earl Maddox ... Man #2


A young woman, Pursy (played by Scarlett Johansson), learns that her estranged mother has died in New Orleans. She returns to her mother's house to discover that it is inhabited by two men, one an aging alcoholic, Bobby Long (John Travolta). Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The heart is a lonely hunter.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The production ran into budgetary problems halfway through. Several background extras were brought to a New Orleans location, fitted for costumes, fed dinner, and then sent home without pay because their scene had been cut. Some New Orleans retailers complained that thousands of dollars worth of clothes were returned unused because the scenes they were bought for were never filmed. See more »


Lee comes to visit Pursey, enters the house, sits down, props his feet on the coffee table and helps herself to a cigarette from the pack on the table. There is a very short break to a shot of Pursey and back again to Lee who now has a lit cigarette in his left hand. It was not possible for him to light the cigarette in the short time the camera was on Pursey. See more »


Bobby Long: He can make a lovely corpse!
Lawson Pines: Come on, man. Charles Dickens. You serious? Martin Chuzzlewit.
Bobby Long: Smart ass.
See more »


Featured in The 62nd Annual Golden Globe Awards (2005) See more »


Lorraine's Song (My Heart Was a Lonely Hunter)
Performed by Grayson Capps and Theresa Andersson
Written by Grayson Capps
By Arrangement with AAM Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

An enjoyable little character study
3 May 2005 | by daveshubcaps-1See all my reviews

If you like movies that are character driven, then this is one for you to watch.

I have never seen Scarlett Johanssen in anything before. I have to say she impressed me here with her performance as Pursalane Hominy Will (ain't that a mouthful of a name!). Travolta does a nice turn as the titular Bobby Long, a former English professor who has fallen into the depths of an alcohol induced fantasy life. Gabriel Macht also does a good job as Lawson Pines, Bobby Long's former teaching assistant who has accompanied Long into his descent out of a sense of loyalty and guilt.

Perhaps the most interesting character, to me, is the one you never see, Lorraine Will; a New Orleans diva and the mother of young Pursey. Lorraine's death from alcoholism is what brings our characters together, and much like Alex in The Big Chill, we never once see or hear from Lorraine (not even in voice-over when Pursey reads a letter never sent to her by Lorraine), but we experience her through the people in this movie. It is a brave choice for the director to make, as I believe others would opt for more direct exposition via flashback, voice-overs, etc.

In the end, while there is a certain formulaic approach to the story, the characters are done well enough that you enjoy the story anyway.

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Release Date:

21 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Love Song for Bobby Long See more »

Filming Locations:

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,243, 2 January 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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