Last week, I gave you five of what I think are the 10 best country music films of all time.  You didn't think I'd leave you hangin', did you?  I've got five more for you.  Take a look at them, and let me know what you think.  Am I crazy?  Did I leave our your favorite?  What's the greatest country music film of all time?  Here are my contenders:


Last week, I gave you five of what I think are the 10 best country music films of all time.  You didn't think I'd leave you hangin', did you?  I've got five more for you.  Take a look at them, and let me know what you think.  Am I crazy?  Did I leave our your favorite?  What's the greatest country music film of all time?  Here are my contenders:


The Thing Called Love (1993)

This is the best country music film that you've never seen or probably never heard of. The film starred River Phoenix in his final movie role before his death in 1993. This film represented what Nashville was really like in the 1990s (and probably pretty darn close to how it is today) for young, up-and-coming singer/songwriters living their dream in the music city where everyone (even the cops) will have a demo tape on hand. Phoenix portrayed the character James Wright--who wrote the Patty Loveless hit "Blame it On Your Heart". The film is also one of the earliest films for Sandra Bullock,(like many of the actors in the film) who wrote and sang her own song for the film. Samantha Mathis plays the main character, who even went to such lengths as to break into Trisha Yearwood's car just to put a demo tape in her cassette deck with hopes that she might record the demo song. Trisha Yearwood starred in the film as herself. This film gave you a peek into the lives of the free spirits who may be writing your next, favorite, new country song. The film saw limited release in the US. The release was so small, in fact, that the film was one of the lowest grossing major motion pictures of the 1990s, but it was still a great film. Phoenix's brother Joaquin would go on to star as Johnny Cash in 2005 for the film Walk The Line.

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

Sissy Spacek starred in this classic biopic about the phenomenal Loretta Lynn. Coal Miner's Daughter has a happy ending unlike Sweet Dreams--which was the Jessica Lange-as-Patsy-Cline-movie. There is no plane crash at the end of this movie and (spolier alert!) Loretta Lynn is still alive and making music today. The film showcased the amazing journey of a 13-year old Loretta Lynn who got married and began her life as a housewife in Kentucky. The film showed how persistence paid off for one woman whose husband believed in her talent. There will never be another Loretta Lynn, the days of a hillbilly girl rising to become "the first lady of country music" are long gone. It happened once and they made a movie about it. Even Toby Keith's character in Beer For My Horses enjoyed staying up late and watching this movie. Tommy Lee Jones starred as Doolittle Lynn, Loretta's husband in this film which could realistically spawn a sequel. Beverly D'Angelo (the mom from Vacation)was incredible in the film as she starred as Patsy Cline. Spacek and D'Angelo both did their own vocals for the soundtrack.

Walk The Line (2005)

Perhaps the most expensive country music film to date, this movie--which is based on two of Johnny Cash's autobiographies-- chronicled the early life and love of Johnny Cash. Joaquin Phoenix played a convincing Man In Black. Reese Witherspoon would win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as June Carter as the film earned 5 Academy Award nominations. It's interesting to see the Sam Phillips of Sun Records days in which Cash was paired with Sun Records recording artists: Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. The film chronicled a pivotal time for American music and a pivotal time for Cash. Cash, among many things, was a great storyteller and the producers of the film did a great job in capturing his struggles with addiction and loss, rising fame and losing love only to find it again. The film actually only covered half of Cash's life in the autobiography but featured his time spent with Waylon Jennings (played by his son Shooter Jennings). Could there be a sequel? All the actors did an amazing job in recording their own vocals for the soundtrack. The award-winning soundtrack got as high as number 3 on the country chart and number 9 on the Billboard 200.

Crazy Heart (2009)

Jeff Bridges played Bad Blake so good that he won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Crazy Heart is the story of the singer-songwriter who had seen better days. The Bad Blake character could be Waylon Jennings or Kris Kristofferson, or both, or he could be your next door neighbor. Blake lived alone in a small house in Houston, with a bartender for a best friend and highway that called him by name to do some small-circuit touring, playing his country music with "hippies". Blake had the occassional fall from grace on stage and then met a young journalist (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal)who interviewed him. Blake found love again, started writing better songs and then lost it again as he struggled with sobriety. But the film does have a happy ending with its journey. Colin Ferrell played a modern day country superstar--whose crowd had long since turned their back on Blake-- who was a former band member of Blake and wanted to record and popularize one of Blake's songs. Although the film boasted no real country stars, the actors are so convincing that they become real-life country music stars on-screen, both good and bad

Urban Cowboy (1980)

The country music film that defined a generation and spawned a boom. This film showed the end of one era in America and the beginning of a new one. John Travolta played Bud, the cowboy who traded the small-town for the bigger city, his ranch-hand job for one at a refinery, traded his horse for a pick-up truck and traded his bull-riding for a mechanical one. Shot in Pasadena, Texas the film popularized mechanical bull riding, Lone Star beer and the Gilley's nightclub owned by country star Mickey Gilley. The film featured several country stars but mainly focused on the love-life of Bud and Sissy (played by Debra Winger). With "hard hat days and honkytonk nights" Bud found love and marriage with Sissy. The great soundtrack chronicled their ups and downs. The soundtrack welcomed The Eagles, Boz Scaggs, Dan Fogelberg,Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Joe Walsh in with the country favorites by Johnny Lee ("Lookin' For Love") and The Charlie Daniels Band ("The Devil Went Down to Georgia"). The music in the soundtrack displayed a change in the modern country music fan who required a little more rock and rollin their two-step. The influence of outlaw country and late-70s rock played heavily in the generation of country fans that would follow. Urban Cowboy helped to set the stage for the country fan and music of today. The soundtrack was a number one album on the country charts and crossed-over to the number 3 spot on the Billboard 200, not before and not since had this ever happened in America.