Ode to Billy Joe (1976)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Bobbie Gentry's hauntingly enigmatic 1967 hit single served as the inspiration of this story of unrequited teenage love. In 1953, Bobbie Lee Hartley (Glynnis O'Connor) is 15 years old and in love with 18-year-old Billy Joe McAllister (Robbie Benson). Unfortunately, Bobbie's father (Sandy McPeak) and mother (Joan Hotchkis) forbid her to date until she's 16, and until then, Billy Joe and Bobbie Lee are supposed to be content with occasional meetings after church on Sunday. The teenage lovers … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama , Gay & Lesbian
Directed By:
Written By: Herman Raucher
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 12, 2014
Warner Home Video


as Billy Joe McAllister

as Bobbie Lee Hartley

as Anna 'Mama' Hartley

as Mr. Hartley

as Dewey Barksdale

as James Hartley

as Brother Taylor

as School Bus Driver

as Tom Hargitay

as Dan McAllister

as Belinda Wiggs

as Mrs. Thompson

as Mrs. Hunnicutt

as Trooper Bash

as Becky Thompson

as Trooper Ned

as Youth In Car

as Youth In Car

as Youth in Car

as Master of Ceremonies

as Becky Thompson
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Ode to Billy Joe

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | November 27, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Very weak plot, acting based on flash hit song of the '70s.

February 19, 2008

February 25, 2007
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Audience Reviews for Ode to Billy Joe

Great song but a dull indifferently acted movie.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Not the 'manliest' of movies, in fact you could plausibly retitle it Brokeback Bridge, but I never get tired of watching it. I had quite the crush on Glynnis O'Connor back in my youth. She was sorta' the Juliette Lewis of the seventies, all soft and girl-next-doorishly sexy. Still hard to believe that Robby Benson passed her up for a roll in the hay with James Best. Dude, what were you thinking!?

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Ode to Billy Joe Quotes

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