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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Honky Tonk Freeway (1981)

Dependent on the tourist trade, the mayor (William Devane) of a small hick town in Florida finds his town in financial jeopardy when a newly built freeway bypasses their town without an exit. The townspeople take desperate measures to bring people back into their town. Directed by John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY), this movie is very much in the vein of those multi character comedies where everyone is running around hysterically. Movies like IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING and Spielberg's 1941 for example. It's a genre I'm quite partial too and I kept on waiting for this one to catch fire but it never quite does. Not all of the plot lines work. For instance, the Beau Bridges as an erring husband and Beverly D'Angelo as nymphomaniac story line just sits there! David Rasche as a greasy pimp is so unappealing that he pulled me out of the story and there was no payoff to Paul Jabara as a singing truck driver. On the upside, Hume Cronyn as a retired advertising executive and Jessica Tandy as his alcoholic wife are quite charming and Geraldine Page and Deborah Rush as two squabbling nuns on their way to Miami are amusing. I enjoyed it but it never quite grabbed me. The large cast includes Teri Garr, Daniel Stern, Howard Hesseman, George Dzundza, Celia Weston, Joe Grifasi and Frances Lee McCain.  

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