Songwriter (1984)

R | 94 mins | Comedy-drama | 7 December 1984

Director:

Alan Rudolph

Writer:

Bud Shrake

Producer:

Sydney Pollack

Cinematographer:

Matthew Leonetti

Editor:

Stuart Papppé

Production Designer:

Joel Schiller
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HISTORY

The summary for this unviewed film is based on reviews from the 11 Oct 1984 HR, the 17 Oct 1984 Var, the 7 Dec 1984 LAT, the Feb 1985 Box, and the 29 Jul 1985 New Yorker. Production and cast credits were taken from publicity material in AMPAS library files and may not reflect what appears onscreen.
       End credits include the dedication, “In Memory of Warner “Woody” Dalton.”
       As reported in a 19 Nov 1984 People magazine item, the character “Blackie Buck” was based on country singer Waylon Jennings, who turned down the offer to play the role. Actor and fellow musician Kris Kristofferson, who often collaborated with Jennings, was chosen instead.
       Principal photography began on 18 Oct 1983 in the Austin, TX, area, according to a 21 Oct 1983 HR brief. Citing “creative differences,” a 1 Nov 1983 DV item announced that Alan Rudolph was hired to replace Steve Rash as director. The 11 Oct 1984 HR review noted that the change in directors occurred two weeks into filming.
       The premiere took place in Nashville, TN, on 7 Oct 1984, as reported in the 3 Oct 1984 Var and the 20 Oct 1984 Billboard. According to a 30 Nov 1984 LAT article, the picture’s initial release, a regional opening in the South and Southwest, was a “disappointment,” prompting distributor Tri-Star Pictures to withdraw plans for a nation-wide break.
       As stated in a 21 Dec 1984 LAT column, the film opened on 7 Dec 1984 in ... More Less

The summary for this unviewed film is based on reviews from the 11 Oct 1984 HR, the 17 Oct 1984 Var, the 7 Dec 1984 LAT, the Feb 1985 Box, and the 29 Jul 1985 New Yorker. Production and cast credits were taken from publicity material in AMPAS library files and may not reflect what appears onscreen.
       End credits include the dedication, “In Memory of Warner “Woody” Dalton.”
       As reported in a 19 Nov 1984 People magazine item, the character “Blackie Buck” was based on country singer Waylon Jennings, who turned down the offer to play the role. Actor and fellow musician Kris Kristofferson, who often collaborated with Jennings, was chosen instead.
       Principal photography began on 18 Oct 1983 in the Austin, TX, area, according to a 21 Oct 1983 HR brief. Citing “creative differences,” a 1 Nov 1983 DV item announced that Alan Rudolph was hired to replace Steve Rash as director. The 11 Oct 1984 HR review noted that the change in directors occurred two weeks into filming.
       The premiere took place in Nashville, TN, on 7 Oct 1984, as reported in the 3 Oct 1984 Var and the 20 Oct 1984 Billboard. According to a 30 Nov 1984 LAT article, the picture’s initial release, a regional opening in the South and Southwest, was a “disappointment,” prompting distributor Tri-Star Pictures to withdraw plans for a nation-wide break.
       As stated in a 21 Dec 1984 LAT column, the film opened on 7 Dec 1984 in Los Angeles, CA, for a one-week engagement at the Beverly Center Cineplex to qualify for Academy Award consideration, and the Feb 1985 Box noted it earned $12,000 during this limited run. Based on positive reviews from local critics, Tri-Star scheduled a citywide release in Los Angeles for 18 Jan 1985. Director Alan Rudolph complained in the 30 Nov 1984 LAT article that Tri-Star did not offer enough support for the film, which had “two high-profile stars […] willing to assist in the effort.” By the time the picture opened in New York on 28 Jun 1985 at Film Forum 2, Songwriter was also available on home video, as mentioned in the 26 Jun 1985 Var. Critic Pauline Kael championed the film in her 29 Jul 1985 New Yorker review for being both “sophisticated” and a “rowdy slapstick.”
       Kris Kristofferson received an Academy Award nomination for Music (Original Song Score) for Songwriter, and Lesley Ann Warren was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Billboard
20 Oct 1984.
---
Box Office
Feb 1985.
---
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 1984
p. 3, 4.
Los Angeles Times
30 Nov 1984.
---
Los Angeles Times
7 Dec 1984
Section L, p. 1, 14.
Los Angeles Times
21 Dec 1984.
---
New Yorker
29 Jul 1985
pp. 56-59.
People
19 Nov 1984.
---
Variety
3 Oct 1984.
---
Variety
17 Oct 1984
p. 15.
Variety
26 Jun 1985.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
From Tri-Star-Delphi II Productions
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA intern
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Best boy
Key grip
2d grip
Still photog
Still photog
2d unit cam
Elec
Grip
Concert lighting
Concert lighting
Vari-Lites® by
Vari-Lites® cues by
Vari-Lites® cues by
Ultracam 35 Camera and Ultranon Lenses provided by
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed, Austin, Texas
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Post prod supv
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
Leadman
Asst props
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Const
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Orig songs by
Orig songs by
Addl mus by
Songs prod by
Songs prod by
SOUND
Sd boom
Sd ed
Sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR asst
Foley walker
Sd cable
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opticals by
Title des by
Title des by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod auditor
Asst auditor
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Caterers
Craft service
Bad t.v.
First aid
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod facilities
Blackie's bus courtesy of
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"How Do You Feel About Fooling Around," written by Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Bruton and Mike Utley
"Forever In Your Love," written by Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Bruton and Mike Utley
"Night To Remember," written by Kris Kristofferson and Glen Clark
+
SONGS
"How Do You Feel About Fooling Around," written by Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Bruton and Mike Utley
"Forever In Your Love," written by Kris Kristofferson, Stephen Bruton and Mike Utley
"Night To Remember," written by Kris Kristofferson and Glen Clark
"Who Am I," written by Kris Kristofferson and Glen Clark
"Under The Gun," written by Kris Kristofferson and Glen Clark
"Cajun Hideaway," written by Kris Kristofferson, Glen Clark, Billy Swan and Stephen Bruton
"Nobody Said It Was Gonna Be Easy," written by Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Song Writer
Release Date:
7 December 1984
Premiere Information:
Premiere in Nashville, TN: 7 October 1984
Los Angeles opening: 7 December 1984
New York opening: 28 June 1985
Production Date:
began 18 October 1983
Copyright Claimant:
Tri-Star Pictures
Copyright Date:
30 October 1984
Copyright Number:
PA228301
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Dolby Stereo® in selected theatres
Color
Lenses
Ultracam 35 Camera and Ultranon Lenses
Duration(in mins):
94
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27295
SYNOPSIS

After several poor business decisions, country singer-songwriter, “Doc” Jenkins, is in debt and makes a deal with music manager, “Rodeo Rocky,” in the hope of profiting more from his compositions. However, collaborating with the corrupt Rocky causes a temporary rift with Doc’s singing partner, playboy “Blackie” Buck. Around the same time, Doc’s marriage ends, as his wife Honey Carder is tired of his frolicking lifestyle. While traveling, Doc discovers a promising singer named Gilda and is inspired to write songs for her. Meanwhile, Blackie’s stardom is on the rise and Doc arranges an opportunity for Gilda and Blackie to go on tour together. However, Gilda, who has little conviction in her talent, struggles under the pressure of performing. When she overdoses on drugs, Honey comes to her rescue, and Gilda eventually decides to leave the music business. After Doc finds a way to extricate himself from the contract with Rodeo Rocky, he reunites with his wife and two daughters.
... +


After several poor business decisions, country singer-songwriter, “Doc” Jenkins, is in debt and makes a deal with music manager, “Rodeo Rocky,” in the hope of profiting more from his compositions. However, collaborating with the corrupt Rocky causes a temporary rift with Doc’s singing partner, playboy “Blackie” Buck. Around the same time, Doc’s marriage ends, as his wife Honey Carder is tired of his frolicking lifestyle. While traveling, Doc discovers a promising singer named Gilda and is inspired to write songs for her. Meanwhile, Blackie’s stardom is on the rise and Doc arranges an opportunity for Gilda and Blackie to go on tour together. However, Gilda, who has little conviction in her talent, struggles under the pressure of performing. When she overdoses on drugs, Honey comes to her rescue, and Gilda eventually decides to leave the music business. After Doc finds a way to extricate himself from the contract with Rodeo Rocky, he reunites with his wife and two daughters.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.