Honkytonk Man (1982)



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.
Comedy , Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
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Clint Eastwood
as Red Stovall
Tim Thomerson
as Highway Patrolman
John McIntire
as Grandpa
Barry Corbin
as Arnspriger
Matt Clark
as Virgil
John Russell
as Jack Wade
Jerry Hardin
as Snuffy
Macon McCalman
as Dr. Hines
Joe Regalbuto
as Henry Axle
Bette Ford
as Lulu
Alexa Kenin
as Marlene
Gary Grubbs
as Jim Bob
Lloyd Nelson
as Radio Announcer
Hugh Warden
as Grocer
Merle Travis
as Texas Playboy
Ray Price
as Singer
DeForest Covan
as Gravedigger
Jim Boelsen
as Junior
Linda Hopkins
as Flossie King
Rozelle Gayle
as Club Manager
Robert V. Barron
as Undertaker
Gordon Terry
as Texas Playboy
Johnny Gimble
as Bob Wills
George Orrison
as Jailbird
Glenn Wright
as Jailbird
Kelsie Blades
as Veteran
Susan Peretz
as Miss Maud
R.J. Ganzert
as Rancher
Bob Ferrera
as Oldest Son
Shelly West
as Singer
Frank Reinhard
as Standin
Julie Hoopman
as Prostitute
Tracy Shults
as Daughter
Peter Griggs
as Mr. Vogel
Robert D. Carver
as Bus Driver #1
Thomas Powels
as Bus Driver #2
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News & Interviews for Honkytonk Man

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.

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

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

Full Review… | October 26, 2008
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.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

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

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

August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | April 30, 2009
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for Honkytonk Man


Honkytonk Man (1982) C-122m. ? 1/2 D: Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood, Kyle Eastwood, John McIntire, Verna Bloom. Artificial (and overlong) story of Oklahoma musician and his nephew heading to Nashville. Interesting for the use of Kyle Eastwood (Clint's real life son), but the leaden pace just destroys this movie. From the Clancy Carlile novel.

Tanner Bartko
Tanner Bartko

Enjoyable little quiet movie. Liked Eastwood and son's characters. I don't like Eastwood's singing voice, so I had no chance of enjoying the musical scenes (plus I dislike country music). Also liked the character Marlene.

Matt Heiser
Matt Heiser

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

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