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Songwriter (1984)

Willie Nelson , Kris Kristofferson , Alan Rudolph  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Songwriter + Western double feature  - Pure Country/Honeysuckle Rose + Once Upon a Texas Train
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Product Details

  • Actors: Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Melinda Dillon, Rip Torn, Lesley Ann Warren
  • Directors: Alan Rudolph
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 22, 2004
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020HB0K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,596 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Songwriter" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson as a pair of hard-living Texans in this funny, original and very real look at the country music business. Doc Jenkins (Nelson) may be one of C&W's most beloved stars, but his private life is a wreck. He's split up with his longtime partner, Blackie Buck (Kristofferson), a country outlaw with a heart of gold. Doc's singer-wife, Honey Carder (Melinda Dillon), has thrown him out of the house. And now he's gotten involved with a sleazy music manager, Rodeo Rocky(Richard C. Sarafian), who's out to steal his material. Teaming up with Blackie, Doc takes drastic measures to win back his family and reclaim his songs. It's Willie and Kris, on the road again, sharing music and raising hell!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked Gem January 12, 2007
Perhaps unwarranted negative expectations about the cast (Willie and Kris) and the supposed subject matter of this clever and winning film (country music) can explain why so few movie lovers - who would surely recognize its merit - appear to have seen it. Far from being just another southwestern guy buddy picture, it's in fact a sharp, satiric comedy about rascally but talented artists, exploited by greedy entrepreneurs and managers who deserve and finally get witty comeuppances.
Nelson and Kristofferson are both strongly engaging actors here, while Leslie Ann Warren as a drunk chanteuse who becomes a celebrity and Rip Torn as a shameless promoter but good family man have never been better.
The film has a skillful screenplay by Bud Shrake which succeeds in the difficult job of balancing wit and commendable sentiment, so that the film's narrative and dialogue, at once funny and moving, are never corny.
Directing this first-rate comic script, the elsewhere inconsistent Alan Rudolph has here one of his finest achievements.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I was in a Nashville music establishment in February of 2000 and heard legendary singer/songwriter Joe Sun talking about the movie "Songwriter" with Willie and Kris. I jumped on Amazon and ordered a copy. "Songwriter" is a look at the music industry through the escapades of two ornery music industry insiders (Willie and Kris) and the trail of schemes they leave behind. Willie is lovable as a singer-turned-con man. It's a fun movie to watch for music fans and fans of Willie and Kris. Real songwriters, singers, and producers will find it a little far fetched..... or simply a parady of experiences. The sound track is excellent, and Kristofferson fans will notice an early version of the song "Under the Gun" which appeared on his late 90's album "A Moment of Forever." Rip Torn and Leslie Ann Down are very entertaining in roles as dastardly promoter and a binge drinking singer respectively.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songwriter: One of The Best Pictures of The Year October 24, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Dr. Drew Casper PhD., Professor of Critical Studies at U.S.C.'s School of Cinema/Television lamented the lack of Oscar(tm) consideration for this as "one of the best pictures of the year"(1984). As one of his former students, I concurred wholeheartedly. Having seen this movie 3 times upon it's very limited original theatrical release, and countless times since, I think it's a shame the studio didn't know how to market this as a universally appealing Musical Comedy. Produced before the heyday day of The Sundance Film Festival, and before studios knew how to market Independent Films, this hilarious movie was neglected a proper release and ignored except by the small elite group of critics who saw it on the tiniest screen of Hollywood's Beverly Center and in film school. Everyone loved it! Tri-Star mistakenly thinking a movie starring Country Music legends Willie Nelson and Kris Kristoffersen would only appeal in the South, stifled it's theatrical run by limiting it's release to cities south of the Mason Dixon Line. But this movie is actually a very, witty, and fairly sophisticated comedy better suited to a wider City Slicker and Art House movie crowd. As a native San Franciscan who cannot stomach Country music, I made its Soundtrack the first (and last) Country Music record purchase I ever made. I loved this movie, considering it among my top ten favorite movies of all time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We love it! November 6, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
My wife and I like to open a few stubbies of beer and settle back to watch/listen to Willie and Kris and the cast having a lot of fun. Unfortunately we have to hire it, and always have our eyes open for a copy. The script, music, acting appeals to us. Definitely one our our favourite films.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun movie - great soundtrack March 6, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I enjoyed the movie a lot, but I enjoyed the soundtrack even more. Songwriter, Under the Gun, etc... now I just need to find a CD copy of the soundtrack (or maybe a DVD copy of the movie?).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 years later------- April 26, 2012
By J. Swan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved this movie when it came out in 1984 and loved the music that went with it. (then an 8-track and now a CD). Willie and Kris were the "Outlaws" along with Waylon and Jessi. The acting is o.k. and the story is fun. If you never understood why people always followed Willie and Kris and have only heard them sing now - give this movie a try. You will know why and probably order the CD also - I know I did!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatness! April 13, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you love Willie and Kris this is the flick for you, just good old fashoined rowdy fun. Fix yourself a drink and enjoy the show. It makes me smile everytime. Nothing earth shattering here, just a good way to spend a few hours enjoying some escapist entertaiment. Willie and Kris are national tresures and the great performance of Rip Torn can not be underrated. Hell fix yourself 2 maybe three drinks and be prepared to laugh your ass off. If you don't enjoy this flick your fun meter is broken !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Willy and Kris, great movie. November 4, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have othe Willy Nelson movies. But I consider this one the best. Both Willy and Kris are in the movie, the whole movie not just cameos. Some very funny moments set in today's time period,not a western.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars goodwatch, good movie
good watch, good movie, nothing serious, music, con men, crooks,and a good cast. No emmy just fun
Published 16 days ago by les johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic for Willie fans and anyone that lived in Austin Texas in the...
Not a big budget flick, but will leave rooting for the little guy and singing after the movie is done.
Published 1 month ago by Eric Kolb
5.0 out of 5 stars Who'll Buy My Memories?
Great movie, Willie Nelson delivers the goods in this one and Kris Kristopherson is the coolest. Loved the movie and music as a kid and if youre looking for some nostalgic... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J Doug
5.0 out of 5 stars This is such an easy going movie to watch
This is such an easy going movie to watch. Willie and Kristen so natural and with these two the story is believable.
Published 3 months ago by greatnana
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like.
Love Kris and Willie...haven't watched the disc yet but anticipate that it will be very worth while. These two are the only two existing outlaws that bandied with Waylon.... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Milly
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie!!
Not only do I love this movie, but the transaction was handled perfectly and shipped fast!! I may actually have to order another one of these movies for my daughter so I can get... Read more
Published 14 months ago by john tesmer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love movies about the music recording industry!
This is a great story about the inner politics of country music in the 80's. Fairly predictable plot: corporate executives - Bad; artists & songwriters - Good, but look who's in it... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Daniel J. Buchanan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Discovery
I stumbled on this little known gem and loved it. A humorous look at the world of songwriting and country music that's fun to watch, and has some good musical moments too!
Published 19 months ago by Damian P. Gadal
5.0 out of 5 stars A film you can enjoy more than once.
This was a great effort on the part of Kris and Willie and also band members that took part. I find myself l laughing each time I watch it.
Published 21 months ago by saraellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary movie that slipped through the cracks
This has some famous (Willie Nelson, Kris Kristopherson) country musicians who can act. The writer, Bud Shrake, is a Texas boy hisself... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Erika Stephens
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