January 4th, 2015
If listening to The Band Perry and Dierks Bentley every time you turn on your iPod doesn’t quench your thirst for country music, why not integrate your love of the musical genre when you sit down to watch a movie, too? Here are the most iconic movies with a country music theme to them. While these are the Top 10 country music films, we’re presenting them in no particular order. Pop some popcorn, fire up the DVD player and see how any of them could end up being your favorite for the few hours you’re watching them.
Dolly Parton is pretty synonymous with country music, isn’t she? This 1984 “gem” casts Dolly’s singing character opposite Sylvester Stallone’s NYC cabbie. Dolly turns into a country star within just a few weeks. While a box-office flop, the comedy is good for some laughs — both intentional and accidental.
Another country star who decided to break into acting, George Strait scored several top hits with songs featured in 1992’s romantic drama. The movie’s soundtrack — with hits “I Cross My Heart,” “Heartland” and “When Did You Stop Loving Me” — rivals any of Strait’s albums from his 40-year career.
A more recent entry, Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for his portrayal of a singer-songwriter on the waning side of his career. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Colin Farrell also starred.
Considered by many as the quintessential tribute to Music City, the 1975 black comedy takes a humorously biting (and accurate) look at the business of making country music.
Coal Miner’s Daughter
Country music legend Loretta Lynn’s life gets the celluloid treatment, starting with her childhood in Butcher Holler. Sissy Spacek gives a star turn as Lynn, with Tommy Lee Jones playing her husband Doolittle.
Walk the Line
Critics were split on this 2005 look at June and Johnny Cash, but few can deny the performances by Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix. Witherspoon even walked away with the Best Actress Oscar that year. Plus, check out the surrealistic turn of Shooter Jennings playing his papa Waylon Jennings.
Vacillating between kitschy and endearing, this 1980 John Travolta/Debra Winger drama is a cult classic. The iconic Texan bar Gilley’s (owned by country singer Mickey Gilley) is as big a character as Travolta, Winger and their 10-gallon cowboy hats.
Jessica Lange stars as country legend Patsy Cline and even lip-syncs to Cline’s haunting vocals throughout the film. While the ending shouldn’t come as a surprise to any music lover, it doesn’t make the retelling of it any less tragic.
Robert Duvall performs his own vocals as a singer-songwriter in this 1983 Oscar-winning (Duvall for actor and Horton Foote for screenplay) movie.
The Thing Called Love
Never seen this 1993 critic’s darling? Then you should change that as soon as possible! Samantha Mathis and River Phoenix (in one of his last movies) is a pretty accurate look at Nashville in the ’90s.
What country music movies are your favorites?