Ode to Billy Joe (1976) Film Review C

Ode to Billy Joe
DIRECTOR: Max Baer
BOTTOM LINE: Why did Billy Joe McAllister jump off the Tallahassee Bridge? After listening to Bobbie Gentry’s haunting song, the question we have always been asking ourselves should have remained a mystery. That was the song’s allure—the song’s magic. Unfortunately, in the summer of 1976, the mystery was “solved” by screenwriter Herman Raucher (“Summer of ’42) and actor turned director Max Baer (formerly Jethro in “The Beverly Hillbillies”) whether we liked it or not. The answer: because he slept with a man. Robby Benson is sympathetic as the unfortunate title character as is Glynnis O’Connor as his girlfriend – until the plot overtakes her toward the end. Meanwhile, Joan Hotchkis is as perfect as O’Connor’s mother. However, the film is reductive and backward-looking, and the final scene can only be described as outrageous.
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60 Queer Films Made Under the Hays Code (1934-1967) – TheBrownees

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