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Another Country Movie Club - Coal Miner's Daughter

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Ricky Ross Ricky Ross | 20:00 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010

During the course of the last series of Another Country producer Richard Murdoch and I began to talk about all the great Country music movies we had enjoyed. It was partly prompted by the release of Crazy Heart then we were reminded about O Brother, Where Art Thou because we featured the music as one of our "Beginners Guide to Alt Country" albums. So, I started collecting film titles to add to the list of great Country movies. The redoubtable Richard Wooton (who is a publicist for some of the acts we feature and a confirmed Country music fan) joined in. By May I had a list of around 30 films.

Another Country Music Club - Coal Miner's Daughter

So where do we start? It will run a bit like a book club - (except it's virtual and we're chatting film!) We plan to talk about any given current film over a month of shows. During that month we'll feature music from the movie and give you as much information as we can about it. For your part, you can hire, beg, steal, borrow or even buy the DVD in question and we can talk about it here on the Radio Scotland blog. We are currently exploring the possibility of the occasional live screening where we can all meet up, watch the film and have a real time blether. That would be great - so any help in that department is very welcome.

For August our film is going to be Coal Miner's Daughter, Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones and Levon Helm. In case you haven't seen it, it's the bio bic of Loretta Lynn and it's a real classic. Plenty there for everyone to get their teeth into and it seems to be widely available. You can tell us where you plan to watch it and we'll direct you towards a date when we can all chat about it - hopefully at the same time. It would be great to see your suggestions here on the blog.

I hope this will be fun and ultimately we will all enjoy the films and get turned on to some music we haven't fully explored before.

Another Country With Ricky Ross is on Fridays, 2005-2200


  • Comment number 1.

    Great idea! Must admit I really enjoyed Crazy Heart...great film. Wonder what films everyone will come up with. Here a couple of quick suggestions:

    The Thing Called Love

    Heartworn Highways

  • Comment number 2.

    Like the photo!

  • Comment number 3.

    How about "Falling From Grace" (1992)? Directed by and starring John Mellencamp, also John Prine makes an appearance. Soundtrack includes the 2 Johns plus Dwight Yoakam, Nanci Griffith.

  • Comment number 4.

    Also really looking forward to this, and love the graphic to advertise it! I just added "Coal Miner's Daughter" to my rental list and so hope to watch it within the next two weeks at the latest. I've also seen "Crazy Heart" and loved it - I bought it on the strength of "The Weary Kind" and the fact that it starred an Oscar-winning turn from Jeff Bridges - and so I would suggest that as a definite contender.

    In terms of other movies to nominate, I'll confess to being quite ignorant of this genre - although just as eager to explore it! Wikipedia came to the rescue, though, and the following are just a few other suggestions than those noted already. All look to have been released on DVD and are available for rental and/or to buy:

    "Nashville" (1975)
    "Tender Mercies" (1983)
    "Sweet Dreams" (1985)
    "Songcatcher" (2000)
    "Broken Bridges" (2006)
    "Country Strong" (theatrical release December 2010!)

  • Comment number 5.

    Going back cause i am older than dirt...."Honky Tonk Man" directed and starring Clint Eastwood and Porter Wagoner, Ray Price and Marty Robbins are in it.Think it was 1982.

    "Honeysuckle Rose," Willie Nelson as Buck Bonham, wild Texas singer songwriter.....

    Yes, yes, Norrie is on it again...Heartworn Highways.

  • Comment number 6.

    So, I finally got around to watching my rented copy of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” last night. Sadly a solo viewing rather than an open house, although that's not quite the end of the story. I’m not sure if you intended for people to post their thoughts right onto the blog or would prefer us to wait to chat about it at a later date, but for now I’ll share a few non-spoilery thoughts here as well as over at Ricky's Radio Blog. Feel free to moderate me and/or delete this post if I say too much!

    I certainly enjoyed the movie, first and foremost. I knew very little of Loretta Lynn and so this was quite an insight into her formative years: at times humorous, at others horrific, a mix of good and bad times… And above all I really enjoyed the songs on offer here, even if I did find myself moved to listen to some Patsy Cline first and foremost as the credits rolled. The performances were, I felt, solid if not spectacular, with Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones certainly both strong in their respective portrayals, bringing light and shade to their characters.

    The only real problem I had with the movie is one common to many biopics: that in trying to cover so much ground to tell the protagonist’s story, the movie seemed to fail to know where its story started or ended. There were themes that were mentioned and explored but it felt to me the movie lacked any real shape to it; it was more a patchwork of remembrances. Then again, maybe that’s in part symptomatic of Loretta’s life as we see it on screen: “Things is moving too fast in my life, always have,” as she herself says. Maybe that’s the point, but it still feels more accidental than purposeful in the screenplay’s design.

    Without saying too much, then, I certainly enjoyed it and it was a great choice to kick off the Another Country Movie Club. Not a perfect movie, but certainly a very watchable one and featuring some superb music, which is surely reason enough to pick up a copy. And a planned repeat viewing speaks for itself… I’m hanging on to my rental copy a few days longer as I’ll be visiting my parents this weekend and my father – as a country fan with whom I am lucky enough to share some (but definitely not all!) musical tastes – will be sure to enjoy it as well. I’m looking forward to it too.


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