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Bound for Glory Details


Adapted by Robert Getchell from Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Hal Ashby's biopic portrays a few pivotal years in the life of the celebrated folk singer and social activist. In the Depression 1930s, Midwesterner Guthrie (David Carradine) plays music locally but cannot make enough as a sign painter to support his wife (Melinda Dillon) and children. With only his paintbrushes, Woody joins the migration westward from the Dust Bowl to supposedly greener California pastures via boxcar and hitchhiking. When penniless Woody is turned back from the California border, he sneaks into the state alone and meets Luther (Randy Quaid), who takes Woody to a farm where hundreds of workers scrounge for a few ill-paid harvesting jobs. When singer Ozark Bole (Ronny Cox) arrives both to entertain and to urge the workers to unionize, Woody joins Ozark in song, fleeing with him after thugs break up the assembly. He lands a job singing with Ozark on the radio, and the two become partners in union agitation. Unable to commit in his personal life as he finds his political voice, Woody brings his family west, but his wife can't tolerate Woody's wandering ways. Reluctant to sell out his ideals for a lucrative career, Woody hits the road again, bringing his songs of freedom and protest to a nationwide audience on his own terms. Opting for atmospheric story-telling over strident polemic, the filmmakers present Guthrie as a complex individual with contradictory virtues and faults. Despite critical praise and nominations for several Oscars, including Best Picture, Bound for Glory proved less than glorious at the box office. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:December 5, 1976


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Harold Leventhal Best Picture 1976 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Robert Getchell Best Adapted Screenplay 1976 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Theiss Best Costume Design 1976 Nominee
National Board of Review David Carradine Best Actor 1976 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association David Carradine Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1976 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Haskell Wexler Best Cinematography 1976 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Haskell Wexler Best Cinematography 1976 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Hal Ashby Best Director 1976 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Leonard Rosenman Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Adaptation Score 1976 Winner


David Carradine
as Woody Guthrie
Ronny Cox
as Ozark Bule
Melinda Dillon
as Mary Guthrie
Gail Strickland
as Pauline
John Lehne
as Locke
Ji-Tu Cumbuka
as Slim Snedeger
Randy Quaid
as Luther Johnson
Elizabeth Macey
as Liz Johnson
Mary Kay Place
M. Emmet Walsh
Ted Gehring
as Connors
James Hong
Ted Gehring
as Connors


Hal Ashby
Charles B. Mulvehill
Harold Leventhal
Robert Getchell
Haskell Wexler
Woody Guthrie
Featured Music
Leonard Rosenman
Musical Arrangement
James Spencer
Production Designer
Rick Carter
Production Designer
William Theiss
Costume Designer
Dan Wallin
Sound/Sound Designer
Jeff Wexler
Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Knudson
Sound/Sound Designer
Donald Thorin
Camera Operator
June Samson
Script Supervisor
Buddy Joe Hooker
Stunts Coordinator