Pure Country

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Pure Country
Pure country poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christopher Cain
Produced by Jerry Weintraub
Written by Rex McGee
Starring George Strait
Lesley Ann Warren
Isabel Glasser
Kyle Chandler
Music by Steve Dorff
Cinematography Richard Bowen
Edited by Jack Hofstra
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
October 23, 1992 (1992-10-23)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $15,164,458[1]

Pure Country is a 1992 American dramatic musical western film directed by Christopher Cain. The film stars George Strait in his acting debut with Lesley Ann Warren, Isabel Glasser and Kyle Chandler. The film was considered a box office bomb, however the soundtrack was a critical success and to date Strait's best selling album. The film was followed by a sequel in 2010 titled Pure Country 2: The Gift.

Plot[edit]

Wyatt "Dusty" Chandler (George Strait) is one of the hottest performers in country music. Dusty feels that his elaborate stage show is overwhelming his music, a suspicion confirmed one night when he purposely forgets several bars of a chart-topping hit and his fans don't even notice. Disillusioned, Dusty walks off after the concert without telling his manager, Lula (Lesley Ann Warren). The only person he tells is his best buddy and drummer, Earl (John Doe), and that he's taking a walk, but he doesn't say where he's going or for how long. After shaving his beard and cutting off his ponytail, Dusty heads for the small farm town where he grew up, visiting his wise old grandmother (Molly McClure) and ending up at the ranch of the Tucker family, where nobody recognizes him. He stays on at the ranch, paying room and board and taking roping lessons, all the while earning the respect of owner Ernest (Rory Calhoun) and falling in love with Ernest's granddaughter, Harley (Isabel Glasser), a woman determined to save the struggling spread with victory in a Las Vegas rodeo. When Dusty learns that Lula has secretly replaced him onstage with her boyfriend, Buddy Jackson (Kyle Chandler), dressed like Dusty and lip-syncing to a recording of Dusty, he returns to the stage. He demands that his stage shows be toned down, without all the smoke and elaborate light show of which he had grown weary. His first appearance after his "vacation" is in Las Vegas at the same time as the rodeo Harley Tucker is competing in. He writes a special love song just for her and arranges for her and her family to have front row seats to the concert. True to his wishes, he does the show without all the hoopla and sits on the edge of the stage - playing and singing "I Cross My Heart", which wins him Harley's love.

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

Pure Country was filmed in 1991 throughout Texas, but mostly in Maypearl. The graveyard scene was shot at Cresson Cemetery in Cresson, Texas, and the concert sequences were filmed at concert venues in Fort Worth, including North Side Coliseum.

Box office and Critical Reception[edit]

Despite Strait's super-star status in the music world, Pure Country only grossed just over $15 million at the box office.The film also received many negative reviews upon its release, but critics responded nicely to certain aspects of the film. On the television program Siskel and Ebert, in 1992 film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert both gave the film a "Two thumbs down" rating, but their reviews were more mixed than negative. Both praised George Strait's performance citing it was very good, and he was a convincing actor in the lead, especially considering the challenges of a singer becoming an actor, and they both enjoyed Isabel Glasser's performance, but felt the film was undermined by a hokey story, and no moments for satire which would have made the film better. Film critic Leonard Maltin in his book Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide also gave the film a mainly negative, and somewhat mixed review giving it two stars out of four and saying, "This Strait showcase is mostly pure tedium, though the film picks up some in hour two with the appearance of Glasser, and Rory Calhoun as her father." Although the expectations had been higher for Strait's first major film role, this did not stop the soundtrack album from becoming the best-selling of Strait's career to date.[2]

Sequel[edit]

A sequel to Pure Country, Pure Country 2: The Gift was released on October 15, 2010.[3] The sequel has no storyline connection to the original movie written by Rex McGee. Instead, it focuses on a young woman's struggles to become a country singer. George Strait appears as himself, but not as a central character of the film.

Soundtrack[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]