Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 (1998)

Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 (1998)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Dancer, Texas Pop. 81 Photos

Movie Info

Small-town America is the key setting for this tale of four West Texas high-school pals who vowed to leave their tiny town after graduation and head for L.A. Keller (Breckin Meyer) is ready to walk, but his goals are formless. Wealthy Terrell Lee Lusk (Peter Facinelli) knows his parents (Patricia Wettig, Michael O'Neill) want him to work in their family oil business. Squirrel (Ethan Embry), who lives with his alcoholic father in a rundown trailer, should find escape easy, but he finds reasons to stay, as does John Hemphill (Eddie Mills), a young man more suited for life as a rancher. Leaving was something the quartet dreamed about since age 11, but the actual departure requires ripping up some roots. Will they do it? Director Tim McCanlies shot this film in 25 days at Fort Davis, Texas. Shown at the 1998 South by Southwest Film Festival (Austin, Texas).
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Entertainment

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Breckin Meyer
as Keller
Ethan Embry
as Squirrel
Patricia Wettig
as Mrs. Lusk
Peter Facinelli
as Terrell Lee
Keith Szarabajka
as Squirrel's Father
Michael Crabtree
as Hemphill
Wayne Tippit
as Keller's Grandfather
Michael O'Neill
as Mr. Lusk
Thomas Webb
as Josie
Jon Bergholz
as Bus Driver
Lynn Carter
as Another Rancher
Lashawn McIvor
as Mrs. Hemphill
Mary Ann Luedecke
as Betty Sue
Bill Brooks
as Reverend
Kendra Payne
as Loretta
Jack Vaden
as Harvey
Lisa Billing
as Sandra
Emilie B. Severin
as Mrs. Caldwell
Leigh Eaton
as Mrs. Hufheinz
Billie Craddock
as Mrs. Garcia
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Dancer, Texas Pop. 81

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

Tim McCanlies' charming feature directorial debut evokes the spirit of Capra's Depression comedies and Thornton Wilder's Our Town, without the nostalgia or sentimentality of those works.

Full Review… | June 9, 2006
Top Critic

Highly entertaining and credibly performed

September 17, 2002

A spiffy valentine to small-town America.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

I don't care if it's a weekend-long slice of life in an incredibly scenic hick town with no major plot line; in fact, that's what I liked most about it.

July 12, 2001

By no means an earth-shattering, important film, but it is quiet and entertaining.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999

The characters and their emotions are painted with a big, sloppy brush. Texas-sized.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Dancer, Texas Pop. 81

Very enjoyable movie. But the more Ethan Embry movies I watch, the more I realize he usually plays the same characters.

Megan S
Megan S

Super Reviewer


This is the epitome of cute, safe family films, but it is funny and sweet and captures small town Texas pretty well.

Jennifer D
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer


Really a 6.5/10, Tim McCanlies' feature directorial debut is by no means an earth-shattering, important film, but it is quiet and entertaining.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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