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RAMBLIN' THROUGH DAVID CARRADINE IN BOUND FOR GLORY

Beautiful Twilight Time Blu Ray for BOUND Movie Year: 1976
John Carradine, father of David, Keith and Robert, is best known for co-starring in the idealistic John Ford motion picture somewhat loosely based on John Steinbeck's GRAPES OF WRATH, playing a former minister preaching Unions over the "pie in the sky, that's a lie," as Ronny Cox sings here in BOUND FOR GLORY...

And sitting right beside him, within a vagabond strip of rough California land where people park and wait for work – while those who work, hardly earn a cent – is TV's KUNG FU star, all ready, willing and able to take the big screen by storm...

While father John was part of a road-trip where a truck, resembling a pin cushion full of grungy farmers, travels to California where work was supposedly bursting up through the seams, the best moments of this highly entertaining biopic titled BOUND FOR GLORY... which is a song sung with a mouthful of smiling sarcasm... are on the train to get there, or simply how the man plays the guitar: like he really, truly knows how to...

Carradine, DAVID
As David Carradine tunes and strums and sings, he does it perfectly, like that guitar was part of his very own skin, and there's no one but a real musician to pull of the role of someone who took their music to the road before laying it down, safe and cozy indoors: Although for Woody Guthrie, it was all accidental.

Carradine, JOHN
The first act takes place in Oklahoma where an immense dust cloud encroaches his small town, looking as menacing as any science-fiction movie but based on nature. After the Okie section, which doesn't seem like it's there to lead to someplace more important but is like a short film all its own, with a beginning, middle and end, Carradine leaves his wife and family, bumming a ride on a train with a lot of other hoboes; and not those friendly fellas with the nap-sack on the end of a stick. Whether it's completely true or not, in most movies dealing with trains and The Depression, at one time people were simply "allowed" to get shot dead by riding on a railroad car: although here the antagonists are a lot more greedy than deadly: taking the last of anyone's money and giving them actual seats inside till their dough got them just that far (rude, sure, but pretty logical, actually). Some violence remained, the fear of being bashed on the head is felt with the characters and the audience, and it's a miracle Woody even survived that first trip to California, where no work at the dilapidated camp full of cars awaits, and so does director Hal Ashby's stock actor, Randy Quaid, a family man providing a broken record of "They don't have work and when they do they don't pay," then taken further by the aforementioned Cox, a radio performer whose night job is to gather the people for a Union, something frowned upon by... the greedy bad guys.

MOVIE SCORE: ****1/2
Actually, GRAPES OF WRATH centers on all the turmoil while BOUND FOR GLORY really blames no one and nothing but bad luck and the instinct to survive through the art of music, as genuine as the ground is to the shoe, walking around from town to town. And the real human being we're centering on is sure no flawless icon: In one scene you'll want to hug Woody and the next, sock him in the jaw. He seems to ruin everything he sets up, and after meeting the nicest woman in the world, who works all day serving soup to the poor, he finds out she lives in a mansion, and can't stop riling her for it... Funny thing, she was beyond-hesitant to bring him home, and that's the reason why!

As for the historic aspect of Guthrie's actual music, he never records any real tracks by the time the movie, which doesn't feel long at all, ends, and it's a wonder he ever became famous judging by this picture and how reluctant he was to stay-put and conform; BOUND is more of a baby step than complete stride. But it's extremely important, covering one man's journey across America. And a sequel would center on Guthrie hanging around New York with musician Pete Seeger and actor Will Geer, finally making money (not so evil if done in Show Business!), recording music, and then, for the final years of his life, slowly dying of a rare disease in a hospital... Yet GLORY is an optimistic picture, feeling more like Kerouac than Steinbeck, dead-centered on music and life, providing David Carradine, who can often sleepwalk through roles, the role of a lifetime. And while THE LAST DETAIL is arguably Hal Ashby's best movie, this is his visual canvas that, stretching as far as the eye can see in almost every exterior daytime shot, where most of the film takes place, is an aesthetic masterpiece, yes indeed!
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