Voila! Finally, the Honkeytonk Man
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Clint Eastwood movie. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Honkeytonk Man. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
Take it on down to the house! Come on!
Hey, somebody's coming.
At a time like this?
It's Uncle Red!
Is he dead?
- Dead drunk.
- Bubba! What in the world!
Let's get him on up into the house.
Whit, you bring in his grip.
- Where's his grip?
- He don't have one. Just this guitar.
These are all the clothes he's got?
Where's he headed for
without any clothes?
Without even a toothbrush!
A letter fell out of his coat
while I was getting his clothes off.
I couldn't help but read
the first couple of lines.
It was from somebody asking him to come
and try out for the Grand Ole Opry.
The Grand Ole Opry?
But why didn't you say so sooner?
The letter, I really shouldn't have read it.
You shouldn't have, but as long as you did,
you might have let us read it, too.
My God almighty! The Grand Ole Opry!
If Mama was only alive today to see
what's become of her son now.
On second thought,
maybe it's just as well.
Well, you've been wanting
to go out to California.
But we should have gone before now,
like I wanted to.
Now we don't have anything.
Every penny we had
was tied up in this crop.
Marjorie, come on!
We got lots of work to do.
Can I clean the car?
Hey! How the hell are you, Hoss?
Boy, put 'er there.
You're shooting up like a weed!
Thanks a lot for fixing that car.
Any serious damage?
The oil pan's leaking a little.
Is it serious? Can I make it to Nashville?
So long you don't let it run out of oil.
It's true, then?
You're gonna sing at the Grand Ole Opry?
I'm afraid it's just an audition.
If that car gets me there in one piece.
It seems to have a mind of its own
some of the time.
I wish your daddy would buy some
Get me my guitar.
Real panther piss.
- Here, you want some?
- The alcohol will kill the germs.
- It ain't that.
It's Mama. If she knew I took
a drink of whiskey, she'd have a hissy.
Well, what she don't know won't hurt her.
If you feel like getting up,
come have some eggs and biscuits...
and we'll get this bed made up.
You, come on, now. Let him get dressed.
Thanks again and mum's the word on this.
Here's to us ducks,
because we don't give a quack.
If it don't rain, we'll walk.
Bubba! Don't drive so blamed fast.
We got plenty of time.
Bubba, be careful!
What're you trying to do, kill us all?
Can't you drive no better than that?
I ain't exactly at my best
when I got a fire under my ass.
You've been drinking, that's what it is.
Why don't you let somebody else drive?
I suppose you could drive better?
I'm sure any of us could.
Even Whit could drive better than that.
- That true, Hoss?
You wanna try?
Sure. Papa sometimes lets me
drive the truck.
All right, slide on over.
Bubba, why don't you let Virgil drive?
Hoss claims he can drive as good as me...
by God, I believe he can.
Come on, just slide on in there.
Now, we just ease right on out.
That's the way. Let the clutch out easy.
- Easy on the clutch.
- I know.
What do you say, folks?
Ain't Hoss doing a hell of a job driving?
I put every penny we had into that crop.
Borrowed all I could.
Can't think of anyplace to steal it...
and I'm not gonna beg. Ain't in me to beg.
There's a fellow over in Meeker...
who says he bought machinery and stock.
He'll give you a few cents on the dollar
for everything you got.
Maybe get $ .
That ain't gonna get us out to California...
keep us in grub till we find a job.
Well, I could match you for the rest.
You? You ain't...
I thought you said
you didn't have any money.
I got money miles up a bull's ass.
Of course, I gotta find that bull to get it.
I was thinking I'd send it to you
when I got to Nashville.
- How you gonna get to Nashville?
I was born in Tennessee.
Cainsville, just north of Murfreesboro.
Came to Oklahoma when I was
riding an old mule...
- and made the Run into Cherokee Strip.
- How about some more coffee?
That was in September .
September th, to be exact.
- There was maybe...
- Whit, get on into bed.
I wanna hear Grandpa tell about the Run.
People in hell be wanting ice-water.
Now get into bed like the others.
Please, can't I stay and hear Grandpa
tell about the Run?
Did you hear what I said, boy?
Get into bed!
Uncle Red? Tomorrow,
could I play your guitar?
Looks like you're raising
a musician there, sis.
Maybe I should take him
to Nashville with me.
That's if I can get enough money
to get there.
I could give you maybe $ .
That's very nice, Mr. Wagoner,
but you'll need it to get to California.
Ain't going to California.
Too old for that. I've been thinking.
- I wanna go home.
Why, your home is with us, Grandpa.
I mean Tennessee.
Ain't been back there for years.
Was born there,
and that's where I wanna die.
I can give you maybe $ .
Can you drive a car?
Never learned how...
and I'm too old to start now.
Was always good with mules, though.
Rode one from Tennessee,
in fact, back in .
- That was...
- How about some more coffee?
I'd better go to bed.
God damn it, either tune that thing,
or stop playing it!
I don't know how.
Bring it on in here!
Give me that.
I'll show you how to tune this thing
only one time...
so you will pay attention, you hear?
You hold this "E" string down here
at the fifth fret.
What're you staring at?
Is there something peculiar about
the way I look?
Get out of here! Standing around here,
staring at me like I'm a freak!
Get out of here! Beat it!
Get away from me.
Listen, honey, it's not your fault.
It's the sickness
that makes him talk like that.
You can't blame him.
It's not his fault, either.
You can't blame him no more than you
could blame a cripple man for hobbling.
- You understand?
- I guess so.
He's only human.
Come on, now.
I'm gonna fix him something to eat,
and I want you to take it in to him.
Me? What if he don't want it?
You tell him he'd better eat it...
or I'll go in there
and shove it down his throat.
She said that, did she?
Well, I guess, in that case I'd better try.
Don't you go paying attention to me
when I get like this.
It's the damn fever.
When it comes on, it makes me snappish
as a pair of sheep shears.
Get that guitar.
You play it, I'll show you how to tune it.
Hold the "E" string down
on the fifth fret right there at the top.
That's the way.
Play the "E" string
and the "A" string open.
The only reason we're letting you go is...
I want you to keep him out of trouble,
if you can.
Don't let him drink while he's driving...
You have to promise me
you won't go in that honkytonk, you hear?
- But I wanted to hear Uncle Red sing!
- You'll just have to listen from outside.
You have to promise me that,
or I won't let you go.
All right. You'd think I was a little kid,
Uncle Red was playing in honkytonks
by the time he was my age.
I'll have some chickens for you
in the morning.
Well, look here! What's this, Red?
Got yourself a helper?
This is my nephew, Whit.
This is Lulu, she owns the joint.
Nephew! Ain't he something, now?
Sure is cute, ain't he?
And he gets it all from me.
Well, you should have kept some
I like them young, and that's a fact,
but not that young.
How about if I give you a nickel,
and you call me up in a couple of years?
- What do you think about that, Hoss?
- Here you are, hon.
You can spend it now if you want...
but you gotta remember to call me
in a couple of years.
Go ahead, take it.
- Thank you, ma'am.
- You're welcome.
Sing good, Red.
A Nehi orange, please?
Thank you.I'm Red Stovall and I'm hereto do a few songs for you...and pass the hat.So you got any requests...just sound them out.
Let's go, Hoss.
Sure you gotta go, Red?
I've got a room out back.
The boy could sleep in the car,
I've got some more business to do tonight.
But I'll be back tomorrow night.
Come on, Hoss.
Let's get the show on the road.
Keep it warm for me.
- You got the board?
- Yeah, I got it.
What's the matter with you? You're
shaking like a dog shitting peach pits.
- Lf Mama knew what we was doing...
- She won't...
unless you tell her.
She might have to come
and identify our bodies...
- once those chickens start squawking.
- There won't be any squawking.
- The sacks are getting full.
- How many we got?
Maybe or . Enough.
Let's get outta here...
- while the getting's good.
- I'll get one more.
Let's get outta here!
What's going on out there?
Stop, thief, or I'll blow your ass off!
Damn, Hoss, we made it.
For a moment, I thought those dogs were
gonna make hamburger out of my ass.
Here, have a drink. You deserve it.
Strong, ain't it?
Eyes are bigger than my stomach.
I'll meet you back at the car.
Where are you going?
Get myself some new duds.
Here's $ . That seem about right
for your share?
For me? Five whole dollars?
Don't spend it all in one place.
Got a call last night about a car
like the one here.
Man over in Roscoe
said somebody in a late-model limousine...
stole some of his chickens.
Of course, I didn't believe him.
me and Jim Bob here
was driving down the street...
and I said to Jim Bob, I says,
"God durn, Jim Bob...
"look at that big old car there.
"I'll just bet that that's the feller...
"who stole them chickens
over in Roscoe last night."
Ain't that what I said, Jim Bob?
That's it, Snuffy.
That's what you said, all right.
That a chicken feather, or ain't it?
Looks like a chicken feather to me, Snuff.
And that stuff on the seat, Jim Bob...
what do you reckon that stuff is?
Looks like chicken shit to me, Snuffy.
- You think so?
- I'd swear to it.
I seen enough chicken shit in my life
when I see it.
When was the last time
you saw chicken shit, Jim Bob?
- When you were shaving this morning?
- Jim Bob!
Smart ass, ain't you?
Jim Bob, what do you reckon we'd find...
if you was to reach in under that seat
and feel around a little?
My, what have we got here?
We're gonna have to take you down
to the courthouse...
to see if you can explain how all this stuff
come to be in your car.
It ain't my car.
You hear that, Jim Bob?
He says it ain't his car.
He was just sitting here,
waiting for the owner to come back.
Frisk him and cuff him.
Put your hands up there.
Spread your legs.
This give you a thrill, Jim Bob?
Groping a man's crotch like that?
Put it away.
Put the cuffs on him.
We'll come back for the car later.
Somebody might drive it away.
He might get surprised...
if he finds somebody here waiting for him.
Uncle Red! Get ready.
Hurry, Uncle Red! Hurry!
Come on, get outta here, Hoss!
You did it, Hoss!
Damned if you didn't do it.
Should I stop?
Where in the double-damn tarnation
have you two been?
We had a little car trouble in Tallapoosa.
Had to stay over.
We've been worried to death!
Why didn't you...
Bubba! Are you all right?
Just a little chill.
A cup of your hot java will fix me up.
What you need is a long rest in bed.
I'm gonna see that you get it.
I've gotta head out for Nashville
in the morning.
So soon? Why?
If you're serious about going,
that $ of yours will get us to Tulsa.
And there's a fellow there
who owes me some money.
I think that'll get us the rest of the way.
I'll be ready to go in the morning.
Just one other thing, sis.
I'd appreciate you considering
us taking Hoss along.
I need a driver, and he's a real good one.
One of the best I've seen.
Real safe and everything.
It ain't just that.
I think the boy's got talent.
I could teach him to play a little guitar.
Maybe he'd be a singer someday.
Maybe a good singer.
What do you think, Hoss?
You'd like to go to Nashville with me?
Bubba, he's too young
for anything like that.
- Please! Please let me go with him!
- You hush up.
Well, it's entirely up to you all.
If we get out to California
in time for picking cotton...
we're gonna need every hand we can get.
Papa, please let me go with him!
You heard him. He said I had talent.
- I could be a musician...
- I told you to hush up!
Papa, I don't want to be
a damned cotton picker all my life!
So Mr. Big Britches don't want to be
a damned cotton picker all his life!
If your mama and I hadn't been
picking cotton all them years...
working our fingers to the bone for you...
where the hell would you be today,
Mr. Big Britches?
Papa, it ain't like that.
I just want a chance to be somebody.
You go to bed this minute! Right now!
- But he said...
- Go to bed!
We'll talk about it in the morning.
But if I hear one more word out of you...
just one more, then you won't go at all.
And that's final.
Please, Mama. Let me go with him.
I don't want you to.
I don't want him to go alone.
You know he's very sick, don't you?
He shouldn't be going anywhere
by himself, unless it was to a sanitarium.
There probably wouldn't be anybody
to call a doctor for him if he...
- I could take care of him.
- Can you?
I know it's a lot to ask of a boy your age...
but it seems like
you're the best friend he's got.
But do you have any idea
what it'll be like if he...
All right, then.
But only if you promise me two things:
That you won't drink,
and that you'll come home...
soon as we get settled
out in California. Promise?
- Cross my heart and hope to die.
- And try to bring Bubba back with you?
Yes ma'am, I sure will.
Be sure and write to us once in a while
at Bud and Dora's...
and let us know
how you and him are doing.
- I promise.
- All right, then.
You bring the wood in.
Breakfast will be ready in a minute...
then I'll help you pack your things.
Holy shit! I'm going to Nashville!
Here's our route, Hoss.
We just skirt right around Roscoe
and head straight on out to Enid.
Enid? Ain't we going through Tallapoosa?
Long way out of the way.
Don't worry, Mr. Wagoner.
We'll make it to Tulsa, all right.
When we do,
we'll look up Mr. Durwood Arnspringer.
Fellow owes me some money.
Wake me, Hoss, when we get to Enid.
- All right, we're getting close.
- Close to what?
This is where it happened. Pull over.
The Hennessy Line ran right along
Stretching from horizon to horizon.
- What're you talking about, Grandpa?
- The Run! It was the Run, boy.
When they opened the Cherokee Strip
to white settlers.
This is where it happened?
The Hennessy Line ran along
right over there.
People lined up as far as you could see.
Thousands and thousands of people.
Men, women, kids. All ages. All kinds.
On horses and mules,
in wagons, buckboards, surreys...
Some of them on foot. Lots of them.
Where were you?
See that hump in that ridge over yonder?
That's where I was, near about.
I was then...
set in the saddle of an old mule,
an old saddle.
I rode that old mule
all the way from Tennessee.
I got him here three days before the Run,
so I could rest him up.
It was the greatest horse race
in the history of the world, boy...
and for the greatest prize...
the Cherokee Strip.
Did you get some of it?
Yeah, I got mine. I lost it later.
But, hell, that don't matter.
It wasn't just the land,
the dirt itself that I was racing for.
It was the Promised Land.
That's what you got to understand.
That's what I try to make
people understand. It wasn't just the land.
It was the dream.
That's what I tell them.
We wasn't just land chasers, Whit.
We was dream chasers.
Just look at it now.
All turned to dust.
We ruined it, Whit, we ruined it.
But there's other places. California, now.
They say that's the Promised Land, too.
No. Too old to go chasing another dream.
The only dream I got is going home.
Help! Do something, somebody!
Son of a bitch!
- I'm going over.
- You know what you're doing, boy?
No. If I did, I wouldn't be doing it.
That's the way, Hoss. Keep him busy.
That's the way, Hoss.
Keep him busy!
What's so damned funny?
That was my new shirt.
When you was climbing that ladder...
that bull's horn missed your asshole
I don't need a bath for a while,
that's for sure.
And I know we both feelthat we have been had
That's good, Hoss.
I'm gonna write that down.
Well, I got my guitar
That's really good, Hoss.
You've got it now.
Throw your arms aroundthis honkytonk man
Damn, boy! You've got
this songwriting stuff down.
Hey, how about that?
They don't know where the fellow is.
Or if they do, they're not talking.
Do you reckon we'll ever find him?
I don't know.
Hey, he might know.
- Bob Wills.
Let's go to this radio station.
Go up here and turn right.
Why don't you fellows drop me off
at a motor court?
You know Bob Wills?
Your Uncle Red wrote this tune
they're doing right now.
What're you doing in these parts?
I'm just traveling through
on my way to Nashville.
- I've got a try-out on the Opry.
- That ought to do it for you.
The way you write songs and sing...
How'd you like the way
we've done your song?
It's a lot better than I've ever done it.
We've been playing this some on dances,
the crowds love it...
and all the guys in the band like it.
We'd like to record it in Dallas next week.
- Fantastic, I could sure use the dough, too.
- All right!
This is my nephew, Whit.
I believe he wants to meet you.
Hey, Whit, how're you doing?
- Don't talk, does he?
- No, he sings pretty good.
At least, I think he will
when his voice changes.
That's great. Well listen,
good luck on the Opry.
I might not get to Nashville at all,
unless I can find Durwood Arnspringer.
Used to book some shows.
Do you know him?
I know him. Does he owe you money?
He wrote me a rubber check
for a thing I did for him a few years back.
I know where you might find him.
You remember Miss Maud's cathouse...
Miss Maud's place?
He hangs around there a lot.
Why don't you go by
and tell her you're a friend of mine?
All right, I'll do that.
if Durwood don't come through
with the money, could I help?
I'll get it out of him.
Don't worry about that.
Good luck to you. See you, Whit.
A real whorehouse?
Howdy. I'm looking
for a Mr. Durwood Arnspringer.
Bob Wills said you might know
where he is.
You a friend of Bob's?
I've done business with Arnspringer
He's got a card game going
back at the Choo-Choo Cafe nights.
That's all I know.
Down by the railroad tracks.
Down by the railroad tracks?
I'm much obliged, ma'am.
as long as we're here...
my son here, he's .
He ain't never been with a woman,
and I'm getting worried about him.
You think maybe we could fix him up
before he gets pimples?
We don't take no kids here, cowboy.
We got enough trouble with the cops
I'm his daddy, I'll take the responsibility.
None of the girls here would take him.
What're you staring at, kid?
I told you I'd take the responsibility.
It wouldn't be you or the boy
that'd get arrested if the cops come.
It would be the girl with him,
besides myself, of course.
That's why won't none of them take him.
Because you're so beautiful.
It's a sad state when a man
can't buy a woman for his own boy.
Miss Maud, I'll take him.
Well, it's your risk, I reckon.
Would you like to come with me?
That'll be $ then.
And if you want a girl, too...
Well, I just might.
Got anything around here
built for comfort?
Honey, I think we could accommodate you.
- Kind of robbing the cradle, ain't you?
- Shut up.
Come on over.
Take your pants off and
I'll wash you up, okay?
We'll just try again in a few minutes.
Well, how'd you like it?
What's the matter, cat got your tongue?
I love you.
Well, Hoss, how was that?
That's exactly the way your old Uncle Red
felt after the first time.
- Durwood Arnspringer around here?
He's taking a nap.
Why don't you wake him up? Tell him
Red Stovall wants to say hello to him.
Well, as I live and breathe!
It's not Red Stovall!
I've had occasion to wonder
what happened to you, Red.
It's been years!
I've had occasion to wonder
about you too, Durwood.
Get this shit out of here!
You should have been done hours ago!
I got players coming here soon!
So here you are!
What's happened to you, boy?
You don't look too well.
They working you to death?
I'm doing all right.
I got myself a spot on the Opry.
The Grand Ole Opry?
By God, that'll put you on top, boy.
I could sure use that $ you owe me.
I'm sorry, Red, I really am.
But this depression, you know.
- How about a drink?
- I just want my money.
Red, I told you, I haven't got it.
- Well, get it.
- I can't!
I'm disappointed in you, Red.
Questioning my honesty like this.
Is that what you're doing?
Calling me a liar and a cheat?
I'm calling you a liar and a cheat,
and a fat, porky, son of a bitch!
You wanna hear any more?
I got other things I can think up for you.
I think I know how we can square it.
That girl? The one who was just in here?
I'll tell you what I'll do, Red.
I'll give you her and we'll call it even.
You'd give me that girl
for the $ you owe me?
Yeah, why don't you talk to her yourself?
Marlene, get yourself down here, honey!
Marlene, this here is Red Stovall.
He's a singer, and a damned good one.
How'd you like to go to Nashville
- You'd be a good girl, wouldn't you?
My goodness, Nashville!
That is my heart's dream!
I would just do anything to go!
Well, there you are. Just take her
a few minutes to get her stuff packed.
It won't do, Arnspringer.
Please take me with you, Mr. Stovall.
I won't be any trouble, I promise.
It would mean so much to me.
The Lord will bless you if you do.
I've dreamed of going to Nashville
and becoming a singing star.
And I'm good, too!
The Lord has given me a great talent.
- Just ask anybody who's heard me.
- She's a mighty good singer, Red.
It won't do.
Please, Mr. Stovall! I beg of you, please...
Can't you see he don't want you?
Now go on.
Go get me some coffee and doughnuts.
- You want coffee and doughnuts, Red?
- I just want my money.
My heart is broken.
Your ass is going to be broken, too,
if you don't get me the coffee.
Now, look here, Red.
I'll tell you what I'm gonna do.
I'll show you how white I am.
I'll show you how you can make that $
in no time at all.
That's the best I can do.
- I'm listening.
- Well, the deal is this:
I do a little service
for some of my business friends...
in the community here from time to time.
Mostly, insurance jobs.
Somebody wants something stolen,
I make sure it gets stolen.
It's really a set-up.
You just walk in
and tell the woman it's a stickup.
She hands you $ maybe a little more.
- Where's my coffee and doughnuts?
- Junior's bringing it.
- Well, what do you say, Red?
- This woman, what does she get out of it?
That's where the trick is, see?
She gives the robber $ ...
but she tells the insurance company
it was $ .
And the place, where is it?
It's Myrtle's Diner,
out west of town on the highway.
- But you said I could.
- I know what I said, Junior.
You see what I'm doing for you?
Something's come up now.
I've gotta give Red the job.
- But you said...
- I know what I said, God damn it!
I know what I'm saying now!
All right. We'll need a gun.
We've gotta make it look real.
Bring that old shotgun down here,
and don't be all day about it!
- she got a phone?
- No. Why?
I thought I'd give her a call,
see if this is all on the level.
For pity's sake, Red!
Why would I lie to you?
What are you standing around here for?
What do you say, Red?
I'll tell her you're coming tonight
about closing time. Right?
Well, I'll just hang around here...
till you finish counting that cash.
Hey! It's me! I'm the one...
Arnspringer sent me.
Don't you go! Stay here!
Are you crazy?
Will you shut up? I'm the one
who's supposed to pull the hold-up.
Arnspringer sent me.
Look, it isn't even loaded.
You almost got yourself killed!
That's some set-up.
- Let's go back to Arnspringer's.
- What for?
I'm gonna get that money he owes me.
But that'll just mean more trouble.
Why don't we...
Damn it, Hoss, do what I tell you.
If you're with me, you're with me,
if you ain't, get out of the car!
Who is it?
Tell him it's Western Union.
Telegram for Mr. Arnspringer.
Just back right on over there, boy.
Everybody just keep their hands
right on the table.
- Red, what is this? What the hell?
- You son of a bitch!
You damn near got me killed.
- Red, I...
- You didn't tell that old lady I was coming.
She took a shot at me.
Red, I did! I didn't personally...
but I sent word.
What would I get
out of double-crossing you, Red?
How did you send word?
I sent somebody else.
All right, so you're an honest man.
Of course, I am, Red. You know me.
Yeah, I know you.
I'll tell you what you're gonna do.
You're gonna give me the $ ...
and because you're such an honest man,
you're gonna toss in another $ ...
'cause you almost got me killed.
Well, for one thing, Red,
I don't have the money.
And for another thing, I don't think
you have any shells in that shotgun.
You wanna bet?
Red, I don't have $ .
I don't even have $ .
- How much you got there?
- Maybe $ $ .
- How about in there?
- That's not mine, that's the bank's.
Hoss, you take a look in that box there.
You take out $ for Durwood, here.
And then we'll take out $
for this gentleman right here.
Arnspringer, you can give him an IOU.
Red, you're going too far!
I don't know if you know this,
but I pay the police for protection.
Do it! Don't be a damned fool!
That's all the money I got.
You sure came to the right place
to spend it.
You're in big trouble, cowboy.
You know who I am?
Yeah, I know who you are.
You're the man with all the chips.
Take out $ for this gentleman.
Durwood, you'll write him an IOU.
There, Red, she's gonna go
for the cops now.
But it's not too late!
It's not, if you'll stop this right now!
We won't prefer charges against you.
Will we, men? No, we'll forget all about it.
You ain't too smart, are you, boy?
Hoss, we got our money, let's go.
You men got your IOUs...
you can continue
on your poker game now.
The first one that looks out
before we're gone...
is gonna find out if I've got my shells
for my shotgun.
You stay here. I'll be right back.
- What are you doing here?
- Will you help me, please?
I have to go with him to Nashville.
Would you please help
talk him into letting me go?
Are you crazy?
You know what he'll do
when he comes out and finds you?
But I can't go back to Arnspringer's!
I didn't run out and get the cops, did I?
Arnspringer knows I didn't.
He's gonna skin me alive.
He'll never stand for it.
Put me in the trunk, then! Please?
I'll ride in there as far as I can
without being discovered.
Maybe by then we'll be far enough away
so he won't...
I just can't go back there!
You gonna be able to stand being shut up
in a place that small?
I can stand anything, as long as
I get to go to Nashville with him.
- What's the matter with Grandpa?
- He's drunk.
I, sir, am not drunk!
You, sir, rudely woke me.
I left a bottle of whiskey in there,
and he's drunk over half of it.
I assumed, sir,
that bottle was left there for me.
You ride in the back, Mr. Wagoner.
That way you can sleep it off.
No, sir. The back seat is yours.
This is your car.
Besides, you need the sleep
more than I do.
I ain't gonna argue with you.
Sorry to bother you,
but I have to go pee. Is he...
You all right in there?
It's a sore trial, I can tell you...
but if that's what it takes to be with him,
it's not for me to complain.
With him? I thought you were just trying
to get to Nashville.
Yes, my heart is set on Nashville.
That's where I wanted to go even
before I met him. Now I have to go.
See, it's just this feeling I have...
that somehow our destinies
will be intertwined...
his and mine, like vines.
I don't expect you'd understand
what I mean. It's just that...
when I saw him, something happened,
and I knew.
Look, if I was you, I wouldn't mention
anything about that...
"intertwined destinies" stuff to Uncle Red.
It wouldn't make your chances
of getting to Nashville any better.
I sure do appreciate
what you're doing for me.
What's your name?
Uncle Red calls me Hoss.
Do you mind very much
if I call you Hoss, too?
I'm Marlene. Marlene Moonglow.
Well, it's not my real name.
Real name's Mooney,
but Marlene Mooney...
It's just too plain for a singing star,
don't you think?
Marlene Moonglow. Don't you think
that's a wonderful stage name?
I think you'd better get back in the car.
You've gotta get back inside.
What's that sound?
It's the rear end.
We're gonna have to stop in Fayetteville,
and get a mechanic to check on it.
Just pull over here and stop, Hoss.
Don't worry about a thing.
- I'll take care of everything.
- That's what I was afraid of.
Against the law to drive with
one headlight. Let's see your license.
It's against the law
to drive without a license.
This here's my nephew.
I'm teaching him how to drive.
This is his grandpa, Mr. Wagoner.
I'm Red Stovall.
We're headed down to Nashville...
You got a license?
Well, Officer, I lost my wallet
about three days ago...
- and my license was in it.
- You own this car?
- I sure do.
- Let me see your registration.
There you go again.
When I lost that wallet,
I lost just about everything else in it.
It's against the law
to drive without a registration slip.
I'll get it fixed up
when we get to Nashville...
where I'm supposed to appear
on the Grand Ole Opry.
You a musician?
I play guitar and sing some.
Maybe you heard of me? Red Stovall?
I used to appear on the Louisiana Hayride
down out of Shreveport.
- Where's your guitar?
- Right here in back.
Got it right back here.
Beautiful brand new Gibson.
I put her there!
She wanted to go to Nashville with us...
and Uncle Red wouldn't let her.
- She's my sister.
- What are you doing in there, girl?
- I put her there. She's my sister.
- I didn't ask you, boy.
Well, it's just like he says, sir.
Uncle Red there,
he won't take me to Nashville...
Get out of there.
It's against the law to ride in a trunk.
I don't suppose you got any ID either?
Idee? Idee about what?
Look, Officer, these little devils
did play a trick on me.
But it's something we can settle
I have to take you in.
Please, Officer! Please don't take us to jail!
- I'm begging you. I'll just do anything...
- Shut up!
Have to take in all out-of-state cars.
Out-of-state cars never come back
to pay their fines.
If it's the money you're worried about,
I could give you the money.
You trying to bribe me?
No. You could tell me how much
the judge charges in these matters...
and I give you the money, and you give it
to the judge. How's that sound?
If I was you, I'd get another headlight
I'll get that done as
soon as we get down to Westville.
I'd rather you didn't do it
in Adair County, okay?
You let your uncle drive, boy.
You ain't old enough to be driving.
Well, I'm waiting.
Uncle Red, keep your eyes on the road.
- Can't you drive no better than that?
- I ain't had a lot of practice lately.
Let the boy drive.
Well? I'm still waiting.
She was hiding behind the seat
when we left Arnspringer's...
and we couldn't just send her
back to Arnspringer, could we?
I mean, after all,
she didn't go to the cops when we...
How old are you, girl?
- You're a liar.
- Seventeen, almost eighteen.
- You're still probably lying.
What's a girl like you gonna do
You got any money or friends?
What are you gonna do,
live on the streets?
The Lord will provide.
He better provide you a way
of getting there, too.
The next town we come to
with a bus stop, you're getting on it.
I'll give you enough money to get to Tulsa,
but that's it.
Mr. Stovall, please don't send me back!
I won't be any trouble. Honest, I won't.
Please, I beg you!
Please don't send me back!
Stop that begging crap now,
or I'll kick your ass right out of this car!
Won't go much further like this.
It's leaking oil.
How long would it take to fix it?
Two or three days.
I have to send to Little Rock for the parts.
Think it'll make it into Memphis
the way it is?
It might. It might not.
Let's chance it.
I don't think I wanna spend two days
in this town.
I'd rather be in Philadelphia.
- Are you gonna eat this?
- Put it down.
I wish there was something I could do
to make you like me a little.
If you only knew.
If only you'd let me...
Let you what?
Well, sing! That's it!
If you'd only let me sing...
maybe you'd want me
to go to Nashville with you.
Sure! I'd be glad to! I'd be more than glad!
All right. Sing, then.
You really want to hear me?
Well, would it be okay for me
to borrow your guitar?
Hoss, give her the guitar.
Thank you, Mr. Stovall.
You won't regret this.
Some folks said I'm gonna be
That's what Madame Zora said.
- Madame who?
- She was a clairvoyant.
Just a minute.
Get right up on this log.
We gotta have a stage for you...
and give Miss Moonbeam here
every professional advantage.
- It's Moonglow.
Well, the first song I'd like to sing...
is My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.
Give me that damn guitar!
What's the matter? You didn't like it?
Maybe in an amateur contest
with a braying jackass...
you might stand a chance.
You'd better give up the idea
of ever being a singer.
I do Red River Valley a lot better.
Uncle Red, I don't think we can risk
going any further.
Good God. So this is where
it gives out on us!
- How long to get it fixed?
- Two days.
I have to send to Little Rock
to get the parts.
Take one day to get them.
Fix it in another day.
Is there a bus that goes through here
Sholy. Ozark Stage.
Leaves from right here at : sharp.
- What the hell's "rat-chere"?
- Right here!
If you fellows don't mind,
I think I'll just go on by bus.
No sense in me sitting around here
for two days.
If I take the bus,
I could be in Murfreesboro...
before you get the car fixed.
I'd be much obliged to you, Red,
if I could have some of the money back...
seeing that we've come only
Look here, boy.
I don't see any sense in me
hanging around this town for two days.
I could get on that bus,
and I could head right on to Memphis.
I'd leave you money, of course,
so when this car is fixed...
you could meet me there.
How's that sound to you?
- I guess...
- I thought you'd be a sport about it.
But where'll I stay?
Is there a hotel in this town?
Hotel burned down four or five years ago.
You got a room for my nephew here?
- Well, where?
- Right here.
One room upstairs.
Old woman will put some sheets
on the bed, if you want it.
$ a day.
You see, boy? You're all set up.
What's the time that bus leaves?
Two a day. : p.m., : a.m.
More than two hours in this town.
Any place a man can get a drink
Roadhouse back up the road,
about half a mile.
What do you say, Mr. Wagoner?
Maybe you and I hike up
to that roadhouse and get a drink?
I can give you that money I owe you.
Don't care if I do. Stretch my legs a little.
What do you want me to do with her?
I don't give a damn.
Just don't have her with you
when you get to Memphis.
I'll give you plenty of money
so you can get her a ticket back to Tulsa.
- Where's Uncle Red?
- He met a waitress.
Said he'd be back here in time
to catch the bus.
He'd better hurry if he is.
you be a good boy now, you hear?
And you come see me in Cainsville.
Ask anybody about the Wagoner place.
I will, Grandpa. I'll come and see you.
Goodbye, my dear.
stay with him.
Take care of him...
as best you can.
See you in Tennessee!
Hold that bus!
Shit fire and save the matches.
Stuck in Noxpater, Arkansas.
When's the next bus out of here?
: a.m. Tomorrow. Sharp.
Is that yahoo up there?
That bus leaves in five minutes.
Okay, I'll tell him.
Uncle Red, wake up.
Uncle Red, you're gonna
miss the bus. Wake up.
I have conceived.
I have conceived.
What're you talking about?
I am in the family way.
Guess what, Red?
Now I know how our destinies
were meant to be intertwined.
I'm gonna bear your child.
I have conceived. I know I have, I can tell.
Isn't it wonderful, Red?
You're gonna be a father.
Hold that bus!
you're not going now, are you?
After what you said last night?
What'd I say? No, forget about it.
Hoss, go down there and hold that bus.
Red, ain't you heard anything I said?
I've heard enough.
You're crazy, you know that?
You are really crazy.
Here's enough money to get the car fixed
and get you on to Memphis.
I'll be at a place called the Top Hat Club
off Beale Street. You can find it.
But what about her?
- Her? I don't care.
- We're leaving.
All right, just a second.
Here's some money. Get her a bus ticket,
Just don't have her with you
when you get to Memphis, you hear?
Did you hear anything last night?
I mean, did she and I do anything?
Okay, I'll see you in Memphis, Hoss.
Alone, you hear?
What's a white kid like you
doing way down here on Beale Street?
That's my Uncle Red.
It is? I'll tell you what.
Grab a chair right over here.
That way, in case the police come...
you can say you're our delivery boy.
Damn, Red Stovall,
when're you gonna get out in the sun...
and get some color in your face?
Well, I could rub shoe polish on me
like I did down in Baton Rouge.
Hell, honey, no Klan gonna be bothering
you down here on Beale Street.
You can just forget about
the shoe polish act this time.
I'll just rub up against you and
some of yours will rub off on me.
Honey, I'll rub it up against you,
but it sure won't rub off!
Now who in the world does
this little peckerwood belong to?
This is my nephew, Whit.
This is Flossie King,
the one I was telling you about.
I love you.
Red, who's been giving this boy dope?
- Poor baby.
You just sit there
'cause I've got another act to do.
Ain't she great?
Best damn blues singer around.
Speaking of songbirds,
what'd you do with our singer?
I left her at the bus station, like you said.
Where was she heading?
She mentioned something
If she tries to make trouble for me, Hoss,
you'll have to be my witness.
Trouble? How could
she make trouble for you?
You heard all that talk
about being in the family way.
She setting me up for a paternity suit.
You think she'd do something like that?
Don't you think you have a problem
with your drinking?
Only when I can't get it.
I mean, don't you think you might need
some help with your drinking?
No, I do quite well all by myself.
- Aren't there doctors...
- Look, Hoss...
if you wanna be my sidekick
and chauffeur, that's fine.
But if I want a nursemaid
and a wife to bitch at me...
I'll go out and get myself one. Understand?
Was there ever anyone
that you wanted to marry?
Yeah, I guess there was, a few years back.
Who was she?
A girl I knew out in California.
Mary Simms was her name.
Why didn't you? Marry her, I mean.
She was married already.
A farmer married her
when she was years old.
She had two kids.
Wasn't much to look at, really.
Just a raw-boned Okie girl.
But she was a fine, decent,
and faithful woman.
At least until I met her.
She ran off with me.
I told her I loved her just to get to her.
I knew it was a lie.
I thought she figured it was a lie, too.
But she took me serious.
She told me she loved me, too.
And she meant it.
We bummed around the country...
broke most of the time.
We even worked
the fruit harvest for awhile.
Lived in some...
flophouses and migrant labor shacks.
It was all right.
It was more than all right.
I was happier than I think I've ever been
before in my life.
Before or since.
I got tired of it, I guess.
I started wondering what I was doing
with this raw-boned Okie girl...
thinking about all the women
that were hanging around the bars...
that I worked in.
I told her I felt we'd made a mistake.
I told her to get her own place.
I gave her all my money...
so she could get one.
She threw the money in my face.
She said that she didn't want
any part of me or my money.
She took off
and went back to her husband.
And you? What'd you do?
I got drunk and started
feeling sorry for myself as usual.
I got to thinking
what a no-good bastard I was...
and what a decent girl Mary was.
I got to thinking
maybe I loved her all along.
Maybe I loved her all this time
and just never realized it until...
I'd lost her.
You didn't try to find her?
I heard she was pregnant
before she left me.
I went on down to Brawley
where she was from and tried to see her.
But before I could see her,
I ran into her husband and his brother.
They beat me up pretty bad
in the parking lot.
Her husband said
Mary didn't want to see me no more.
If I ever tried to see her again...
they'd break my fingers
and I'd never play the guitar again.
So I left town.
And did she have the baby?
Yeah, I heard she did.
A little girl.
You never tried to see her? The little girl?
No, she's better off
not knowing about me.
Mary was right to go back to her husband.
What the hell did I have to offer a kid?
Just honkytonks and flophouses.
That's the life of a country singer.
Hoss, does it sound good to you?
Don't sound too hot
when you put it like that.
But it sure beats picking cotton
and living in a sharecropper's shack.
Maybe you're right, boy.
Maybe you're right.
Maybe if I get this break on the Opry...
we won't have to stay in any flophouses
or sharecropper's shacks ever again.
Thank you, Dusty.
We'll be in touch.
Well, Mr. Stovall...
Red, anytime you're ready.
Red, what've you got?
I've written about songs.
I've got this one called...
Papa and the Three Beers.
No, Red, that song can't be done
on the Opry.
We don't allow the mention of any
alcoholic beverage on the program.
Ours is a clean, wholesome,
family show, Red. What else have you got?
If I can play your piano, I can sing a thing
called, Flossie's Boogie.
No, Red. No boogie-woogie.
That don't fit in at the Opry.
Well, I got one about lost love
in waltz time.
That's good. Now that is always
a good subject for a song.
The only thing better
is about someone dying.
Let's hear it.
Nobody dies in this one.
The poor man. That's a damn shame.
Well, it's in God's hands.
Call in the next couple.
I'd better go tell him.
It's all over.
All this way for nothing, Hoss.
They're not gonna let you sing
on the Opry?
Not unless a doctor says it's all right.
They're sending one out to see us
at the boarding house this afternoon.
All this way for nothing.
Maybe tomorrow, I'll figure
a way to get you out to California.
Doctor, will he be able to sing at the Opry?
- Who are you?
- I'm his nephew.
- I'm taking care of him.
- Lf you are...
you'd better get him into a sanitarium
where he belongs.
He's badly in need of medical attention.
Now, here's my card.
If you can talk him into going into
a tubercular sanitarium...
and if he gets the money to pay for it,
you give me a call.
- And the Opry? Will he be able to sing?
- Good Lord, boy. The Opry?
You think they'll risk him coughing
his lungs out on a national radio hookup?
That man shouldn't even
be singing in a shower.
Hi. I'm looking for Red Stovall. Is he here?
He isn't feeling too good.
Sorry to hear that.
You think he'd be up to talking to me
for a minute?
Uncle Red, there's a man here to see...
Henry Axle from Burnside Records.
I saw you today at the Opry. I'd like
to talk to you for a minute if I can.
What do you want?
First, I'd like to tell you
how much I enjoyed hearing you sing.
Coughing, don't you mean?
Sorry to hear about your illness, Red.
You don' t mind if I call you Red, do you?
That won't stand in the way
of a deal I have to offer you.
Do you think we can sit down
and talk about it for a minute?
My partner, Charlie Jones...
he was at the Opry today, too.
He and I are down here from New York
looking for new talent.
You interest us.
After I heard you today,
I got on the phone to the company...
and the upshot was I've been
authorized to offer you a deal...
to record for Burnside.
We'll pay you $
for each song you record.
For ones we like, that is.
A flat fee? No royalties?
I'm afraid not. The people
in the front office insist on that.
This'll be a chance for you
to find a mass audience...
and that's what you want, isn't it?
You get one hit record out of this,
you'll be able to write your own ticket.
When do you want to do all this?
if you feel up to it.
I want $ in advance.
I think we can manage that.
A drummer, steel guitar,
and a decent piano man.
You'll have them.
Here's where you can find us.
See you then.
But, Uncle Red, the doctor said...
He said you shouldn't sing at all.
Hell, they've been saying that for years.
Maybe they've been right for years, too.
Don't worry about it, Hoss.
It's a pretty good deal. $ a record.
In a couple of days, we'll have enough to...
get the car fixed
and get on back to California.
Here, I bought this for you.
It's probably cold by now,
but you should try and eat it.
Is that all you eat, hamburgers?
You're gonna turn into one.
One take from here.
It'll keep you away from the steel.
You boys about ready?
We might need a barrel of ice
to keep those masters in...
to protect them from this heat.
Good idea. All right, Red.
We're gonna go for a rehearsal.
Why don't you take it from the bridge?
Red, why don't we take a break,
give your voice a little rest?
A doctor. I'll go get the doctor.
No, I'm all right.
Run to the liquor store downstairs
and get me a bottle.
Tell the guy it's for me.
But it's getting worse, Uncle Red.
Maybe a sanitarium, just for a little while?
I've been in the sanatorium once, Hoss.
I ain't never going back again.
- Well, it's your life.
- That's right, it is.
I intend to live it out on my own terms
or I ain't gonna live at all.
That don't include...
having an oxygen tube
stuffed in your nose...
and feeding tubes in your arm.
Is that the way
you wanna see me go out, Hoss?
All I want to see you do is get well.
That's three in a row, Red.
Why don't we take a break
and give your voice a little rest?
He's a lot worse today, isn't he?
Did he have a bad night?
He had a hemorrhage.
- He is seeing a doctor, isn't he?
- Just the Opry doctor.
He said Uncle Red might die if he don't
stop singing and go to a sanitarium.
You don't think
he should be doing this, do you?
Do you? Knowing it might kill him?
Want me to level with you, pal?
He's going to die anyway, and he knows it.
And he knows that this is his last chance.
Last chance? For what?
To be somebody.
Did you ever feel
like you wanted to be somebody?
If he makes these recordings...
Okay, that's great.
Thanks for helping out, Smoky.
I'm really sorry, Red.
You gonna be all right?
Let's go for one more.
Let him go.
Can't you see he's had enough?
All right. Let's listen to the playback
of this one and call it a day.
You go home
and get a good night's rest, Red.
We'll do a few more tomorrow.
You're doing great, pal.
Hoss, it's me!
Marlene! What're you...
Lord, I've been looking all over for you.
I've finally found a friend in Nashville!
Hoss, this city is something.
All these dirty old men...
How'd you find us?
Asked the people at the Opry.
Told them Red was my uncle
and I had to find him.
What's the matter? You look green
around the gills. You sick?
It's Uncle Red. TB.
Is it bad?
I don't know. I think he's dying.
Hoss, I got to see him and tell him
I'm sorry about all that back there.
I'm not in the family way after all.
I never did believe that story
about you being knocked up anyway.
Why don't you two get out of here...
and go see a movie or something?
I'm sorry if she...
I told her you probably didn't...
It's all right, boy.
She's all right.
Got a lot of brass.
You work with her on her singing,
though, will you?
Here. Call this doctor.
There's a telephone in the drugstore
down the block.
I left him some laudanum.
See that he takes it
and gets plenty of rest.
If his breathing becomes difficult...
you can go down to Baxby's Pharmacy
and get him an oxygen tank.
That's all we can do now.
Can't we take him to a sanitarium,
like you said?
It's too late for that.
Actually, it's been too late for a long time.
All you can do now
is make him comfortable.
How long has he got?
Maybe a few hours.
Maybe even a few days.
He looks a little better.
I think maybe
he's gonna be okay this time.
Hoss, you got your hands full this time,
I got some oxygen here.
That's what they give you
in the sanitarium.
Is there anything I can get you?
You go get some rest.
My raw-boned Okie girl.
I love you.
I'll be leaving now.
Now listen, son,
if you ever get the money...
and you do want him
to have a nice headstone...
you just let me know,
and I'll see to it personally...
that a real nice one is placed on the grave.
What's the matter?
I don't know. I've been
feeling sick the past few mornings.
Probably just nerves.
So what're you gonna do now, Hoss?
Guess I'll make my way out to California.
Well, that's my heart's dream.
Hoss, I'll just do anything
to go to California.
You wouldn't mind if I was to go with you?
I've been thinking it would be nice
if in memory of Red...
we could put some kind
of a little act together.
Sing some of his songs.
It would be real nice and I could make
some costumes and all.
We could play in some honkytonks,
maybe make some money...
just to get ourselves to California.
It'd be a good thing to do.
Here's one from a newcomer: Red Stovall.