Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
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Another underrated Eastwood film....
Grigory's Girl | NYC | 03/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Clint Eastwood has tons of films that usually are dismissed by critics and forgotten about, but his longtime fans see them and adore them. Some examples are A Perfect World, Bronco Billy, and this film. This is a really subtle film that starts out (deceptively) as light comedy, then takes a serious turn in the middle and has a sad ending. It's similar to Million Dollar Baby in that way (even though MDB is better), and the plot is similar (flawed people who have made past mistakes looking for that shot at redemption). Clint, as actor and director, really captures the atmosphere of the depression days, the desperation, the sadness, and the fear that everyone had to live with. His character is one of the most real he's played, a far cry from the "Clint Eastwood persona". Kyle Eastwood, Clint's son, is very good here. He never acted after this, but he's good. He's a very well renowned jazz musician these days. Overall, this is one of Clint's most underrated and sad films, one that should be better known."
If your baby leaves you, and you've got no place to go, call
C. CRADDOCK | Bakersfield | 07/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1982 Clint Eastwood released Honkytonk Man. It was clearly a labor of love, of the music, and a chance for him to make a movie with his son, Kyle, who looks to be about 13 or 14 years old. The story resembles The Grapes of Wrath--Oklahoma farmers escape the dust and tornadoes and The Great Depression. But instead of California, Red Stovall (Clint Eastwood) wants to go to Nashville and audition at The Grand Ole Opry. The rest of the family goes to California, but his nephew, Whit (Kyle Eastwood) somehow persuades mom and dad to let him go with drunk uncle Red. He is fascinated by Uncle Red: his hat, his car, but most of all his guitar and music. His Uncle has two problems, though. He is a raging alcoholic, and he is dying of TB. Whit is the designated driver for the rest of the journey, and what a journey it is.
I happened to glance at some other reviews that were heavily critical of the music, saying some of it wasn't authentic for the time period. I say that he might have stretched it a bit here and there, but the music was so good, that minor quibbles like that are quickly quashed. Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, or at least a very reasonable facsimile, as well as a blues singer in the vein of Bessie Smith, are a few of the many musical highlights. The story is great, too, as Uncle Red shows his nephew how to tune a guitar, steal chickens, and even takes him to a brothel. If you weren't so caught up in the story, you might realize that the parallel story was Clint showing his son Kyle how to act in a movie, and introducing him to the Honkytonk life. Kyle Eastwood has grown up to be a musician, and he plays bass for his own big jazz band. Perhaps his fascination with the guitar wasn't acting at all.
The story, based on a novel by Clancy Carlile, who also wrote the screenplay, never gives in to easy sentimentality, but it tugs at the heartstrings, and is gritty where it needs to be. Clarence Lawson Carlile's father was half Cherokee, and he was born on a Choctaw Indian reservation. He worked in Texas picking cotton until his sharecropper family moved to California to pick fruit. He began writing while in the Army during the Korean War and later received a Master's degree from San Francisco State University (my alma mater, by the way). His first novel, "As I Was Young and Easy" (1958), was written in 17 days.
Red's struggle with tuberculosis was a harsh reality in those days, and TB also took the life of Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman. Like Rodgers, Red Stovall knows he is dying, but he just wants to record some songs, do something that matters, before he dies. Honkytonk Man matters, and I recommend it wholeheartedly, it is one of Clint Eastwood's neglected masterpieces.
10 Films Starring and/or Directed by Clint Eastwood.
Million Dollar Baby (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition) (2004) .... Frankie Dunn, Director
The Bridges of Madison County (Deluxe Widescreen Edition) (1995) .... Robert Kincaid, Director
Unforgiven (1992) .... William 'Bill' Munny, Director
Bird (1988) .... Director
High Plains Drifter (1973) .... The Stranger, Director
Dirty Harry (1971) .... Insp. Harry Callahan
Play Misty for Me (1971) .... Dave, Director
Paint Your Wagon (1969) .... Pardner
Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966) .... Blondie
... aka The Good, the Bad and the Ugly(USA)
Per qualche dollaro in più (1965) .... Monco
... aka For A Few Dollars More(UK) (USA)"
A forgotten gem
Trevor Willsmer | London, England | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of Clint Eastwood's biggest flops and least-known films, Honky Tonk Man is one of his best 'small' films, casting the star as a country and Western singer dying of consumption while on his way to grab a last chance of fame by cutting a record in Nashville with his estranged son (Kyle Eastwood) tagging along. A character-driven low-key road movie with a well-realised Depression era setting, it veers from the redneck comedy of his orangutan outings to the darker undercurrents of Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, with the characters gradually working their way into your affections to make the underplayed ending genuinely touching."