Honkytonk Man

1982

Honkytonk Man (1982)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Clint Eastwood succeeds in revealing his softer side in Honkytonk Man, a surprisingly sweet and heartwarming road movie that hums along at a pleasant pace.

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Clint Eastwood directed this low-key road movie, a deliberate change of pace from his dark and violent screen persona. Eastwood is Red Stovall, an amateur country singer/songwriter in the Depression-era 1930s, who dreams of singing success in Nashville. Red's death-rattle cough makes him realize that his time is running out; after sleeping off a one-day drunk, he announces to his family that he plans to head off to Nashville and try to make it to the Grand Old Opry. He and his nephew Whit (Kyle Eastwood) pile into his touring car, along with Grandpa (John McIntire), who wants to visit some folks in Tennessee. They drive off down the road and, after visiting a gambling house, pick up a young woman, Marlene (Alexa Kenin), who joins the traveling show onward to Nashville, where Red hopes to audition at the Opry and make a recording.

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Critic Reviews for Honkytonk Man

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

It is a guileless tribute not only to plain values of plain people in Depression America, but also to the sweet spirit of country-and-western music before it got all duded up for the urban cowboys.

Oct 26, 2008 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Eastwood took great pains in telling this story of an aging, struggling country singer...

Oct 26, 2008 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

The whole thing veers wildly in quality, and no Eastwood-hater should go within a mile of it; but few lovers of American cinema could fail to be moved by a venture conceived so recklessly against the spirit of its times.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

This is a sweet, whimsical, low-key movie, a movie that makes you feel good without pressing you too hard.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The film comes across sympathetically but unconvincingly, as an attempt by a well-established movie tough guy to reveal his tender side.

Aug 30, 2004

Today it looks much better, and contains one of Eastwood's most openhearted performances.

May 1, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Honkytonk Man

A real gem of a film that's filled with humor and heart, a lot of heart. Clint Eastwood put away his tough guy image for a personal project that delivers in a wonderful way as solid entertainment. Eastwood is absolutely superb, one of best performances, its up there with Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and Bronco Billy. Clint and his son Kyle Eastwood shine together in this warmhearted adventure. A beautiful masterpiece. Director, and star, Clint crafts a truly remarkable and magnificent movie that will shine as one of his true classics.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

½

A bittersweet character study, it works remarkably well. You even begin to believe Clint Eastwood in the role. The star's son, Kyle Eastwood, makes an impressive film debut.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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