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Honeysuckle Rose

A movie directed by Jerry Schatzberg

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On the road again, la , la , la

  • May 15, 2000
Pros: ...

Cons: ...

Sort of an autobiographical look into the life of country bad boy, Willie Nelson, Honeysuckle Rose was kinda my introduction into two new kinds of music - country and western (sorry, had to do it!).

Reminiscent of Keaton in Jack Frost , Nelson is enamored with the sound of applause and the lure of the bottle. Actually a successful performer, he must travel all over the country to give concerts, therefore spending a good deal of time away from the wife and kiddies. Now we all know what happens under circumstances like this, especially when coupled with a little honey like Amy Irving in tow!

She shows up on the scene after her father retires from the band (played by the unbeatable Slim Pickens). Having grown up in the shadow of show business and under the auspicious eye of Nelson, she has always had a little crush on him. Deciding to act on these feelings, she is swept up in a triangle between Nelson and wife (played by the audacious Dyan Cannon).

Of course Cannon gets wind of the situation and shows up on the scene - she previously had toured with the band before giving birth to their son - and promptly puts a stop to the whole thing. Now the way I look at things, Willie Nelson being Willie Nelson, I woulda personally went for Amy Irving if I were Cannon - definitely the better choice between those two people - but we are doing a country-western here and not the Story of ‘O' ha, ha.....

Incredibly, being Nelson's first major part in a movie, he did quite well - much better than Diamond did in Jazz Singer - but again, it all reverts back to the premise that performing is performing, no matter the vehicle. Not a country-western buff, I still thoroughly enjoyed the songs, especially when he dedicated Angel Flying to Close to the Ground to Irving, practically a show stopper. And of course the rousing rendition of On the Road Again, becoming somewhat of a trademark for him, really set the stage for the entire show.

Amazingly, Cannon and Irving have presentable voices. Often you see these people only as actors and actresses and do not think of other talents they may have. In general, a good movie with a lot of decent talent and some hearty songs!

Stars: Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon, Amy Irving, Slim Pickens, Priscilla Pointer, Mickey Rooney Jr., Emmylou Harris.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Country music star Willie Nelson plays Buck Bonham, a modern day cowboy touring the country circle. Many popular western hits. Academy Award Nominations: Best Original Song ("On The Road Again").
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Cast: Slim Pickens
Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Release Date: 1980
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 2hr 0min
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