Songwriter

Songwriter

Director: Alan Rudolph, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Melinda Dillon

Cast: Alan Rudolph, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Melinda Dillon

     
 

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A good ol' boy comedy-drama, Songwriter flashes enough substance between the songs and the hijinks to qualify as a sometimes astute look into the darker areas of the music business. Willie Nelson plays Doc Jenkins, the title character, who conspires with longtime pal Blackie Buck (Kris Kristofferson) to turn the tables on a shady promoter, Rodeo Rocky (Richard

Overview

A good ol' boy comedy-drama, Songwriter flashes enough substance between the songs and the hijinks to qualify as a sometimes astute look into the darker areas of the music business. Willie Nelson plays Doc Jenkins, the title character, who conspires with longtime pal Blackie Buck (Kris Kristofferson) to turn the tables on a shady promoter, Rodeo Rocky (Richard Sarafian), who has Doc signed to a contract that is one step short of indentured servitude. Lesley Ann Warren plays Gilda, an up-and-coming country chanteuse whom Doc is tutoring. The rest of the supporting cast is a mix of veteran character players (Rip Torn, Melinda Dillon) and musicians associated with Nelson (Mickey Raphael, Bee Spears, Jody Payne, Johnny Gimble). There are also plenty of musical numbers featuring Nelson and Kristofferson (solo and duets). The musicians/actors went on to co-star in two TV movies, A Pair of Aces and Another Pair of Aces, essentially playing the same kind of good ol' boy characters, though as detectives, not songwriters.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Though not the surprise hit that Honeysuckle Rose, Willie Nelson's first starring vehicle, turned out to be, Songwriter serves as a scruffy, but in surprising ways, more substantial companion piece. Nelson essentially plays himself in both films, a country musician who'd rather play and sing than worry about messy details in life like marital fidelity (Honeysuckle Rose) or the details of contracts (Songwriter). The value of this film, aside from watching Nelson and Kris Kristofferson try to out-cool one another, is its insight into the music business. Bud Shrake's script doesn't stint on the musical numbers and the horseplay, but it also deftly weaves a story of betrayal among the rowdier moments. The way Shrake (and presumably, Nelson and Kristofferson) see it, businessmen take the lion's share of the booty by manipulating naïve or simply powerless recording artists into unfair long-term contracts. If it weren't for the generally gregarious personalities of the stars, this film might have had an even sharper edge. One wonders what the same story starring a harder case like Waylon Jennings might have turned out to be.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/22/2004
UPC:
0043396042636
Original Release:
1984
Rating:
R
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Willie Nelson Doc Jenkins
Kris Kristofferson Blackie Buck
Melinda Dillon Honey Carder
Rip Torn Dino McLeish
Lesley Ann Warren Gilda
Mickey Raphael Arly
Rhonda Dotson Corkie
Richard Sarafian Rodeo Rocky
William Boyd Blind Tommy's Brother
Booker T. Jones Keyboard, Gilda's Band
Jackie King Guitar Player
Bobbie Nelson Piano, Gilda's Band
John Shaw Cashier
Bee Spears Bass, Gilda's Band
Glen Clark Paul
Donnie Fritts Roarers Band
Joe Keyes Eddie
Catherine Molloy Doc's Girl Friend
Paul English Drums, Gilda's Band
Jody Payne Guitar, Gilda's Band
Grady Martin Guitar, Gilda's Band
Bob Gould Ralph
Sage Parker Pattie McLeish
Shannon Wilcox Anita
Jeff MacKay Hogan
Gailard Sartain Mulreaux
Cleve Dupin Road Manager
Poodie Locke Purvis
Sammy Allred Disc Jockey
Steve Fromholz Engineer
Johnny Gimble Fiddle Player
Stephen Bruton Sam/Member of Roarers Band

Technical Credits
Alan Rudolph Director,Screenwriter
Larry Cansler Score Composer
Barbara Krieger Set Decoration/Design
Kris Kristofferson Score Composer
Matthew Leonetti Cinematographer
Stephen Lovejoy Editor
David McGiffert Asst. Director
Ernest Misko Costumes/Costume Designer
Mike Moder Executive Producer
Willie Nelson Score Composer
Stuart H. Pappe Editor
Sydney Pollack Producer
Art Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Joel Schiller Production Designer
Bud Shrake Screenwriter
Tom Walls Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:21]
2. Gilda [9:33]
3. Blackie [8:20]
4. Raw Talent [7:42]
5. First Family [6:10]
6. Lone Star Music [7:41]
7. Recording [6:34]
8. Airplay [4:27]
9. Chart Topping [3:19]
10. Songwriting [6:27]
11. Trapped [8:25]
12. Song for Rocky [8:17]

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