This visually dazzling biopic was the first feature to be shot using Garrett Brown’s newly invented Steadicam technology, and was immediately admired for its sweeping, dramatically fluid camerawork, for which cinematographer Haskell Wexler received an Academy Award. The film is a lightly fictionalized account of the politicization and nascent musical career of folk singer Woody Guthrie, brilliantly played by David Carradine: it follows young Guthrie’s artistically formative journey from the Texas Dust Bowl to California during the early years of the Great Depression. With a supporting cast that includes Melinda Dillon, Ronny Cox, and Randy Quaid, this is one of Ashby’s most heartfelt films, and one of the few in which he eschews his signature satirical mode, trading it for an earnest celebration of one of the great luminaries of the American folk art tradition.
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Walter Reade Theater, we’re winding back the clock! All opening day screenings (December 16) will feature the original 1991 pricing: $5 for members and $7 for non-members.