Bound for Glory

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Overview

Adapted by Robert Getchell from Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Hal Ashby's biopic portrays a few pivotal years in the life of the celebrated folk singer and social activist. In the Depression 1930s, Midwesterner Guthrie David Carradine plays music locally but cannot make enough as a sign painter to support his wife Melinda Dillon and children. With only his paintbrushes, Woody joins the migration westward from the Dust Bowl to supposedly greener California pastures via boxcar and hitchhiking. When penniless Woody...
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Overview

Adapted by Robert Getchell from Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Hal Ashby's biopic portrays a few pivotal years in the life of the celebrated folk singer and social activist. In the Depression 1930s, Midwesterner Guthrie David Carradine plays music locally but cannot make enough as a sign painter to support his wife Melinda Dillon and children. With only his paintbrushes, Woody joins the migration westward from the Dust Bowl to supposedly greener California pastures via boxcar and hitchhiking. When penniless Woody is turned back from the California border, he sneaks into the state alone and meets Luther Randy Quaid, who takes Woody to a farm where hundreds of workers scrounge for a few ill-paid harvesting jobs. When singer Ozark Bole Ronny Cox arrives both to entertain and to urge the workers to unionize, Woody joins Ozark in song, fleeing with him after thugs break up the assembly. He lands a job singing with Ozark on the radio, and the two become partners in union agitation. Unable to commit in his personal life as he finds his political voice, Woody brings his family west, but his wife can't tolerate Woody's wandering ways. Reluctant to sell out his ideals for a lucrative career, Woody hits the road again, bringing his songs of freedom and protest to a nationwide audience on his own terms. Opting for atmospheric story-telling over strident polemic, the filmmakers present Guthrie as a complex individual with contradictory virtues and faults. Despite critical praise and nominations for several Oscars, including Best Picture, Bound for Glory proved less than glorious at the box office.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of America's most powerful troubadours was the legendary folk-singing social activist Woody Guthrie, and this lushly photographed and carefully told tale presents him honestly, warts and all. Using Guthrie's own words and music, screenwriter Robert Getchell and director Hal Ashby recreate the pivotal Great Depression years during which Guthrie left the Dust Bowl for California, took up singing, and got involved in union organizing. David Carradine's portrayal of Guthrie is deeply affecting but never maudlin. The filmmakers put considerable effort into portraying Guthrie's personal failings as part of his authentic humanity. The great cinematographer Haskell Wexler won an Academy Award for his mythic American landscapes, and Bound for Glory was nominated for five other Oscars. Some critics unfairly compared the film to the classic The Grapes of Wrath, with which it shares subject matter and viewpoint. Bound for Glory is a rare latter-day portrait of social unrest and progressive populism in the United States.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/29/2000
  • UPC: 883904126348
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
David Carradine Woody Guthrie
Ronny Cox Ozark Bule
Melinda Dillon Mary Guthrie
Gail Strickland Pauline
John Lehne Locke
Ji-Tu Cumbuka Slim Snedeger
Randy Quaid Luther Johnson
Elizabeth Macey Liz Johnson
Allan Miller Agent
Mary Kay Place
M. Emmet Walsh
Ted Gehring Connors
James Hong
Lee Mc Laughlin Heavy Chandler
Technical Credits
Hal Ashby Director
James I. Berkey Set Decoration/Design
Robert F. Blumofe Producer
Rick Carter Production Designer
Robert Getchell Screenwriter
Robert Glass Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Haller Production Designer
Pembroke J. Herring Editor
Robert Jones Editor
Robert Knudson Sound/Sound Designer
Harold Leventhal Producer
Charles B. Mulvehill Producer
Charles A. Myers Asst. Director
Leonard Rosenman Musical Arrangement
James Spencer Production Designer
William Theiss Costumes/Costume Designer
Donald Thorin Camera Operator
Dan Wallin Sound/Sound Designer
Jeff Wexler Sound/Sound Designer
Haskell Wexler Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Every Woody Guthrie fan should see this

    This is a deeply moving, well done film. Anyone who loves the music of Woody Guthrie, or is interested in Depression Era films, should see this movie. I have shown it to HS students for discussion and they all enjoyed watching it.

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