The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (film)

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The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
The night the lights went out in georgia1981.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ronald F. Maxwell
Produced by Bill Blake
Written by Bob Bonney
Starring Kristy McNichol
Dennis Quaid
Mark Hamill
Don Stroud
Arlen Dean Snyder
Barry Corbin
Music by Keith Allison
Bobbie Gentry
Mark Lindsay
David Shire
Cinematography Bill Butler
Edited by Anne Goursand
Distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures
Release date
  • May 29, 1981 (1981-05-29)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia is a 1981 American musical drama film starring Kristy McNichol, Dennis Quaid, Mark Hamill and Don Stroud, directed by Ronald F. Maxwell.

It was very loosely inspired by the 1973 Vicki Lawrence song of the same name (it shares almost no plot elements with the original song). In 1981, Tanya Tucker recorded a different version for the film's soundtrack and new lyrics related to the plot of the film were written. These altered lyrics were based on the plot line of the movie, which is not the same as the story of the original song.

Plot summary[edit]

A young singer and his sister/manager travel to Nashville in search of stardom. As they journey from one grimy hotel to another, it becomes increasingly obvious that only one of them has what it takes to become a star.

Travis Child (Quaid) is a country singer who had one hit song and then faded from the scene. His ambitious younger sister, Amanda (McNichol), is determined to get them to Nashville where Travis can once again become a star. Her plans are derailed by Travis's lack of ambition and easy distraction by women and booze.

The two are separated in one town and by the time they find each other in the next one, Travis has been arrested for public drunkenness. To pay the fine he takes a job bartending at a roadside tavern called Andy's, where he meets and falls for a young lady with a very jealous ex-boyfriend—who happens to be the deputy sheriff.

Main cast[edit]


The film was shot on location in Dade County, Georgia, but some scenes were filmed around Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Manchester, TN as well.[citation needed]

At least one of the scenes was filmed on 23rd St. in Chattanooga, TN, and Scotty Maclellan had a small role in it.[original research?] The bedroom scene was filmed in Ringgold, GA, at least according to the granddaughter of the woman who owned the house.[original research?]

Critical Reception[edit]

"The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" proves to be a film of considerable feeling and tenderness." Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Aug 7, 1981

External links[edit]