W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings

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W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings
W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.jpg
Movie Poster
Directed by John G. Avildsen
Produced by Stanley C. Canter
Steve Shagan
Written by Thomas Rickman
Starring Burt Reynolds
Conny Van Dyke
Ned Beatty
Jerry Reed
Art Carney
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography James Crave
Edited by Richard Halsey
Robbe Roberts
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
May 21, 1975 (USA)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,805,000[1]
Box office $17 million[2]

W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings is a 1975 American comedy film directed by John G. Avildsen, starring Burt Reynolds, and written by Thomas Rickman. The 20th Century Fox film features the acting debut of Jerry Reed.

As of 2015, the film has not been released on DVD or any other home video format.


In 1957, W.W. Bright (Burt Reynolds) is an easygoing crook who robs gas stations. He meets the Dixie Dancekings, a country music band, while fleeing from a policeman. Dixie (Conny Van Dyke), their singer, gives him an alibi. He claims to be in the music business, and ends up promoting the group. Wayne (Jerry Reed), the band's leader, does not trust him, but the others all have faith in him.

W.W. only steals from SOS gas stations, so the company's chairman sends for Bible-thumping ex-lawman Deacon John Wesley Gore (Art Carney) to track him down. Meanwhile, W.W. and the newly outfitted band go to see Country Bull (Ned Beatty), a highly successful singer-songwriter. He is willing to write them a song for $1000.

W.W. talks the Dancekings into a bank robbery (SOS has just opened a bank branch) that does not work out quite as planned. When Gore broadcasts the description of the getaway car on a radio revival show, W.W. burns up his car. He is ready to separate from the Dancekings in order to shield them, but then he hears them rehearsing Wayne's new song. He persuades Country Bull to listen to it; the man is so impressed, he puts them on the Grand Ole Opry. There Gore catches W.W. using an exact replica of his burnt car as bait. Gore makes him drive to the police department, but just as they arrive, Gore realizes it is now Sunday, so rather than violating the Sabbath, he lets him go.

"Golden Anniversary" Oldsmobile[edit]

Example of a 1955 two door Oldsmobile Holiday 88

One of the central props in the movie is the car that W.W. drives. It is known as a special 1955 "Golden Anniversary" Oldsmobile Rocket 88 of which only 50 were made. It is a four-door sedan painted gold with black hood and side accents, with chrome trim.

In reality, there was no such special car, and 1955 was not the 50th anniversary for Oldsmobile. Three were custom-built for the movie.[3]

One was destroyed in the fire scene, one was taken to a museum, and the third was used as the camera car, with the roof removed.

John G. Avildsen left Nashville in the Spring of 1974, and immediately started pre production on Rocky for which he won the Oscar for Best Director in 1976.


Actor Role
Burt Reynolds W.W. Bright
Conny Van Dyke Dixie
Jerry Reed Wayne
Ned Beatty Country Bull Jenkins
James Hampton Junior
Don Williams Leroy
Rick Hurst Butterball
Mel Tillis GOB
Furry Lewis Uncle Furry
Art Carney Deacon John Wesley Gore

Critical reception[edit]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times enjoyed the film:

Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune reported that Reynolds said of the film:

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of four.[6]

Box office[edit]

The film earned North American rentals of $8 million.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p257
  2. ^ "W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ The Way It Was. 1955 Olds Golden Anniversary. Classic & Custom magazine. October 1982. The 3 movie cars were built at Doug's Custom Shop in Nashville Tennessee.
  4. ^ Canby, Vincent (July 24, 1975). "W.W.'Is Pleasant Summer Surprise (Original ''New York Times'' review)". New York Times (Movies.nytimes.com). Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  5. ^ Siskel, Gene. Workaholic Burt Reynolds sets up his next task: Light comedy Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 28 Nov 1976: e2.
  6. ^ a b Ebert, Roger. W. W. AND THE DIXIE DANCE KINGS. Chicago Sun-Times, January 1, 1975
  7. ^ Solomon p 233
  8. ^ "All-time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976 p 44

External links[edit]