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Legendary writer/director John Sayles (LONE STAR, PASSION FISH) returns with the must-see HONEYDRIPPER continuing his extraordinary examination of the complexities and shifting identities of American sub-cultures. The film is a fable about the birth of rock n' roll - a quintessentially American subject - and it will have you dancing in the aisles long before the end… HONEYDRIPPER features an all-star cast including Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Stacy Keach, Mary Steenburgen, Yaya DaCosta and Sean Patrick Thomas; as well as such notable musicians as Keb' Mo' and the legendary Dr. Mable John. It also introduces a major new talent, Gary Clark Jr. who makes his electrifying film debut as Sonny. It's 1950 and it's a make or break weekend for Tyrone Purvis (DANNY GLOVER), the proprietor of the Honeydripper Lounge. Deep in debt, Tyrone is desperate to bring back the crowds that used to come to his place. He decides to lay off his long-time blues singer Bertha Mae, and announces that he's hired a famous guitar player, Guitar Sam, for a one night only gig in order to save the club. Into town drifts Sonny Blake, a young man with nothing to his name but big dreams and the guitar case in his hand. Rejected by Tyrone when he applies to play at the Honeydripper, he is intercepted by the corrupt local Sheriff, arrested for vagrancy and rented out as an unpaid cotton picker to the highest bidder. But when Tyron's ace-in-the-hole fails to materialize at the train station, his desperation leads him back to Sonny and the strange, wire-dangling object in his guitar case. The Honeydripper lounge is all set to play its part in rock n' roll history
Delightful... love for music and musicians permeates the film --Daily Telegraph<br \><br \>His best role in years, Danny Glover shines --Empire<br \><br \>You'll be wanting the soundtrack on your i-pod within half an hour of leaving the cinema. --The Word
His best role in years, Danny Glover shines --Empire
You'll be wanting the soundtrack on your i-pod within half an hour of leaving the cinema. --The Word
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Top Customer Reviews
As is evidenced by Sayles' director's commentary and the various interviews included as DVD extras, one thing always very noticeable about any Sayles film is the meticulous subject research that underpins his film-making. Here, as well as making extensive use of home-grown acting talent from Alabama (where the film was shot), Sayles captures the atmosphere of the pre-Korean war, institutionally racist, religiously devout, small-town society brilliantly. This is a society where 'coloreds' have their own shop entrances, and where negroes seeking work are routinely rounded up, slung in jail and forced to work the cotton fields.Read more ›
That aside,there is much to enjoy here with Danny Glover giving a world weary,and highly credible performance as "pinetop" the almost down and out pianist and club owner who spends most of the film bemoaning his bad luck at the disappearance of guitar legend "guitar Sam" and trying to work his way out of some tight financial spots.There's good support from Charles S.Dutton and all of the rest of the supporting cast but it could have been soooo much better if the music had been allowed to play a bigger part other than at the enjoyable and uplifting ending.
If you are a Sayles fan then this one won't disappoint but if you are a music fan looking for some real blues and r&b action then there's slim pickings (no pun intended).There is a bonus for blues fans as guitarist Keb Mo' appears in several quirky scenes which left you wanting and hoping he'd make an appearance in the grand finale jam session (he didn't by the way).Modestly enjoyable and no more.
I'd happily watch this film again if it came on television but it is not a film that lingers in the mind or that I'd go out of my way to see again. I felt it was neither one thing nor another - not a drama because hardly anything dramatic happens and not a music film because it's all a bit too bland and corny. I thought that the best thing about the film was Danny Glover, who completely inhabits his (rather meagre) part and totally dominates the film, which without him wouldn't be worth watching.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wished there had been more music in the film. Would have appealed more to us rock n' rollers!Published on 2 July 2014 by Margaret Rose
Very entertaining Best of the afro American musical films. Danny Glover in top form. We need a sequel to this !Published on 24 July 2013 by Brody
Only stumbled upon this film by accident on BBC iplayer but found it to be a very enjoyable story with some great performances. Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2013 by Lee Davies
As a blues fan I remember making a mental note to see this film when it came out, but events got in the way until I bought it on DVD. Read morePublished on 22 April 2010 by Alan Davies
I first caught this movie on BBC iPlayer and was so taken by the quality of acting, subject-matter and history that I knew I HAD to buy it! Read morePublished on 9 Aug. 2009 by Amazon Customer