Back Roads (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Back Roads (1981)

Back Roads (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Back Roads Photos

Movie Info

For his follow-up to 1979's Academy Award-winning Norma Rae, director Martin Ritt re-teams with that film's star, Sally Field, for this gritty romantic road comedy. Reportedly Ritt's homage to Frank Capra's films of the 1930s, Back Roads stars Field as Amy Post, a no-nonsense prostitute in the deep South struggling with the fact that she gave up her only child for adoption. When Amy first encounters the recently unemployed Elmore Pratt (Tommy Lee Jones), she is anything but fond of the drifter. But after taking to the road together with dreams of California, the two societal misfits find themselves falling for each other. Ritt and Field would team together once again four years later in another romantic comedy set in the South, Murphy's Romance.
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.


Sally Field
as Amy Post
Tommy Lee Jones
as Elmore Pratt
David Keith
as Mason
Dan Shor
as Spivey
Barbara Babcock
as Rickey's Mom
Nell Carter
as Waitress
Alex Colon
as Enrique
Ralph Seymour
as Gosler
Billy Jacoby
as Boy Thief
Eric Laneuville
as Pinball Wizard
Henry Slate
as Grover
Matthew Campion
as Stromberg
Tony Ganios
as Bartini
Richard Boyle
as Ernest
David Powladge
as Fight Announcer
Eliott Keener
as Willis
Billy Jayne
as The Boy Thief
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Back Roads

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

Very good on local colour but a bit sugary in its attitude to the central relationship, it would have been better taking a bleaker cue from Tommy Lee Jones' admirably dry performance.

January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

If the movie had been willing to deal honestly with the plight of its characters, it wouldn't need to be clutterted up with eccentrics and hearts of gold.

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

Less a movie than an extended sketch, and it's to the credit of Mr. Ritt, his stars and Gary Devore, the screenwriter, that the movie is so much fun.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

It's a surprise to discover that this hackneyed, relatively dull road picture is the work of director Martin Ritt.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
TV Guide

A quiet and unassuming little comedy, a dual-gendered character study mixed with a low-key "road trip" adventure.

Full Review… | April 24, 2005

Back Roads is a love story with real clout.

Full Review… | January 31, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Back Roads

There are a lot of good actors in this movie, but the story lets them down. It's boring, predictable, and disappointing in the end. I didn't care for it, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

i don't tend to like sally fields but this one was good. i don't get why they continually call tommy lee jones ugly...he's freaking adorable in this

Emily Keefe
Emily Keefe

appealing performers but the script isn't great

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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