Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ode To Billy Joe

Quagmire post a comment on the last post. It did confused me first and maybe it confused more readers of my Blog.

LOL, I wasn't Tom Cruise in "Risky Business", I was Robby Benson in "Ode To Billy Joe". Thanks for the ode to Billy Joe. J/K I was "Tommy Boy".

But it also made me curious and I looked a bit around on the net and watched the movie.

About the movie:
Ode to Billy Joe is a 1976 film with a screenplay by Herman Raucher adapted from his own novel, which in turn was based on the 1967 hit song by Bobbie Gentry, also titled "Ode to Billie Joe" (note different spelling).

The film explores the budding relationship between McAllister (Benson) and Bobbie Lee Hartley (O'Connor), who corresponds to the unnamed narrator of the original song. Hartley and McAllister struggle to form a relationship despite resistance from Hartley's family, who contend she is too young to date. They develop the relationship, despite the obstacles in their way.
One night at a country jamboree celebration, however, McAllister gets drunk and seems nauseous and confused when entering a makeshift whorehouse behind the gathering. It turns out that in his inebriated state, he has sex with another man who later turns out to be his sawmill boss, Dewey Barksdale (James Best). After disappearing for days, he returns to bid an enigmatic goodbye to Bobbie Lee. The film depicts their relationship as never having progressed beyond simple kissing and McAllister claims that his sinful guilt is interfering with even this level of intimacy, despite his love for Hartley.
Overcome with guilt, McAllister subsequently kills himself by jumping off the bridge spanning the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi.
The next scene is just before he jumps of the bridge.

In the film's final scene, Bobbie Lee meets Dewey on the bridge as she is leaving town, and he guiltily confesses to her that he was the man. She insinuates that she has invented a rumor of being pregnant, possibly to counteract town gossip about Billie Joe's homosexuality.

About the actor:
Robby Benson (born January 21, 1956) is an American film and television actor, television director, and educator. Benson was born Robin David Segal in Dallas, Texas, the son of Ann (née Benson), a singer, actress, and business promotions manager, and Jerry Segal, a writer. Benson was raised in New York City and took his mother's maiden name as his stage name when he was 10.

Benson made his Broadway debut in The Rothschilds. Benson had an early role on the daytime soap Search for Tomorrow (1971-72). As a film star, Benson was popular for roles of teens in coming-of-age films, such as in 1972's Jory (his screen debut), in Jeremy (1973), and as Billy Joe McAllister in Ode to Billy Joe (1976).

About the song:
"Ode to Billie Joe" is a 1967 song written and recorded by Bobbie Gentry, a singer-songwriter from Chickasaw County, Mississippi. The single, released in late July, was a number-one hit in the United States, and became a big international seller.

Ode to Billie Joe  lyrics

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right"
"I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"
"And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"
"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"
"That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"
"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"
"He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"
"And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

About the singer:

Roberta Lee Streeter (born July 27, 1944), professionally known as Bobbie Gentry, is a retired American singer-songwriter notable as one of the first female country artists to write and produce her own material. Her songs typically drew on her Mississippi roots to compose vignettes of the Southern United States.
Gentry shot to international fame with her intriguing Southern Gothic narrative "Ode to Billie Joe" in 1967.

Thank you Q


Quagmire said...

Thats awesome Christo, now 2 people have saw the movie ;)
J/K I am some what of a movie buff, when not on sl, and love obscure movies, this would be one of them. Maybe I should blog about them.

Christo Spyker said...

It would be great Q. Looking forward to read about it on your Blog. Ooh, also Rod saw the movie, so that makes three.