Synopsis by Mark Deming
Clint Eastwood put his tough-guy image on hold for this personal project, which follows a musician taking one final chance at the big time. Red Stovall (Eastwood) is a would-be country singer who has been bouncing around the margins of the music business for years. With nowhere in particular to go, Red arrives at the failing Oklahoma farm of his sister for an extended visit, where her son Whit (Kyle Eastwood) quickly bonds with his uncle. However, it's obvious that Red is in very poor health, drinking heavily and breathing with difficulty, and when Red is invited to audition for the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Whit tags along for the road trip to keep an eye on his ailing uncle. En route, Red and Whit are joined by Whit's grandfather (John McIntire) and another hopeful vocalist, Marlene (Alexa Kenin), who like Red is chasing her own dreams of stardom on the Opry. Clint Eastwood performed his own vocals and guitar work for Honkytonk Man, and a number of Nashville legends appear in cameo roles, including Marty Robbins, Porter Wagoner, Ray Price, Merle Travis, and Johnny Gimble.
audition, country-music, musician, Great-Depression, nephew, on-the-road, tuberculosis, gambling