Archive for the ‘Movies, Videos, DVDs’ Category

“They Called Us Outlaws” — new documentary

Tuesday, September 6th, 2022
by: Michael Granberry

Read article here.

They transformed Austin and country music, and now, ‘They Called Us Outlaws’ is a film.

It is a sprawling, six-part, 12-hour undertaking, which includes rare performance footage from the now-defunct Armadillo World Headquarters.

It is a sprawling, six-part, 12-hour undertaking, which includes rare performance footage from the now-defunct Armadillo World Headquarters.

Way back in 1976, RCA Records released a compilation album, featuring a new wave of country stars — Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser. Titled Wanted! The Outlaws, it earned its place in music history by becoming the first country album to be Platinum-certified, reaching sales of 1 million.

By that time, Nelson had made his famous move from Nashville to Austin, where he changed his image and his style. Heck, his entire persona. Those of us who remembered him showing up at a Sissy Farenthold for governor rally in Dallas in 1972, where he looked more like Howdy Doody, realized that Austin had helped trigger a major metamorphosis.

And now, we will soon be treated to a new documentary titled They Called Us Outlaws, a sprawling, 6-part, 12-hour undertaking which, of course, includes rare performance footage from the now-defunct Armadillo World Headquarters, which was to the outlaw movement what the Colosseum was to gladiators.

Rest in Peace, James Caan

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

Professional safecracker Frank (James Caan) visits Okla (Willie Nelson) to get some advice for his life on the outside and gets some very good advice: “Lie to no one,” and then is asked to do the impossible — get Okla out of prison before he dies.

In addition to James Caan and Willie Nelson, the movie, released in 1981, Tuesday Weld, Dennis Farina, James Belushi.

Willie Nelson, “Stagecoach”

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

'Stagecoach' (1986)

Courtesy: Everett Collection

This remake of the John Wayne classic was released in May 1986, exactly one year after the Highwaymen’s debut album hit shelves, and it more or less functions as a Western-themed commercial for the chemistry between Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. They’re not the only country stars here, though. With additional cameos by June Carter, Jessi Colter and David Allan Coe, Stagecoach cracks its whip by focusing on country star power, not necessarily acting ability.


On May 18, 1986, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings appear in a CBS-TV remake of the western movie “Stagecoach,” along with June Carter, John Schneider, John Carter Cash, Jessi Colter, David Allan Coe and Billy Swan.

This movie stars Willie Nelson, and his Highwaymen buddies, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings. Great soundtrack, lots of Trigger playing throughout. Willie sings the title song, which he wrote with David Alan Coe, who also is in the movie, along with June Carter and other faces you will recognize.

Willie Nelson plays Doc Holiday. The movie has some great movie lines:

Willie: “Is that the deck you play with?”

Waylon: “One of them.”

Willie: “May I see it, please? I must say, I admire your guts.”

Waylon: “Does that mean you wouldn’t play cards with me?”

Willie: “That means I’d shoot you on sight.”

Kris: Where ya headed?

Dallas: “I knew the answer to that when I was about 14. Then I hit 15 and I ran head onto that thing called reality. And I been walking with a lantern ever since.”

Waylon: “Don’t light that.”

Willie: “Did you say something?”

Waylon: “A gentleman doesn’t smoke in the presence of a lady”

Willie: “I wouldn’t like to think that you are implying that I am anything less. I may be, you understand, but I just wouldn’t want to hear you say it.”

Willie: “And what are you looking at, friend?”

Man: “That’s a filthy habit, smoking, just filthy.”

Willie: “I have a lot of filthy habits. Most of them I find very enjoyable”

Man: “Don’t you have any good habits.”

Willie: “You mean something that can be admired, and held up to a child as a good example?”

Man: “Yes, something like that.”

Willie: “No sir. Children despise that. There’s nothing a child despises more than a good example.”


June Carter to Willie (when he drinks a shot of whiskey): “Did you eat?”

Willie: “I ate a lot when I was young.”

“Where the Hell’s that Gold?” (November 13, 1988)

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

He makes his living robbing banks.
She makes hers banking on robbers.

Release date: 13 November 1988

Willie Nelson stars with Jack Elam, and Delta Burke in this move about two outlaws on the run after stealing and hiding a large amount of gold.  The two find themselves travelling through 1895 Mexico on a train full of dynamite as rebels, Apache Indians, Wells Fargo agents, and Federal troops trail them. When they are captured by the Mexican authorities, they scheme to keep their ill-gotten riches with the help of a madam and her prostitutes. Willie Nelson, Jack Elam, Delta Burke star in this rowdy western.

Willie Nelson, on Honeysuckle Rose set

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

“Honeysuckle Rose” Soundtrack (7/18/1980)

Sunday, July 18th, 2021

“Honeysuckle Rose”, the soundtrack to the 1980 musical drama film of the same name, starring Willie Nelson, was released today in 1980. The album features the hit single “On The Road Again”.

Willie Nelson and Amy Irving, in “Honeysuckle Rose”

Monday, May 10th, 2021

This day in Willie Nelson history: “The Big Bounce” released (January 30, 2004)

Saturday, January 30th, 2021
for tgif 1/30/04 photo from

On January 30, 2004, the movie “The Big Bounce”, opened.


Thank you, Mark, from Willie Nelson’s Museum and General Store, (, for finding this gem, a still from the movie, “The Big Bounce” released in 2004, also starring Owen Wilson, Gary Sinese, Morgan Freeman, Charlie Sheen, Bebe Neuwirth, Harry Dean Stanton, Gregory Sporleder, Steve Jones, Director: George Armitage


Monday, January 11th, 2021

Willie Nelson’s 2019 tribute concert to be released Dec. 11

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
by: Dave Paulson

It’s been nearly two years — and thanks to 2020, it feels even longer — since a staggering cast of stars gathered at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to pay tribute to Willie Nelson.

The concert was filmed for television and aired on A&E earlier this year, and now it’s coming out on DVD and CD.

“Willie Nelson: American Outlaw” will be released on December 11. It includes performances from the country music legend himself, along with Chris Stapleton, Alison Krauss, George Strait, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, John Mellencamp, Lee Ann Womack, Eric Church, Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, The Avett Brothers, Jack Johnson and others. 

Among the highlights is a first-ever duet between Nelson and Strait on an original tune, “Sing One With Willie,” and an original song from Jack Johnson called “Willie Got Me Stoned And Took All My Money,” which was apparently based on a real experience.

Nelson had several duets on the program as well: with Dave Matthews on “Crazy,” Emmylou Harris on “Pancho and Lefty,” Chris Stapleton on “Always On My Mind” and Kris Kristofferson and Eric Church on “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Nelson, 87, has been kept off the road this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but he’s remained remarkably productive. In July, he released his 70th studio album, “First Rose of Spring.”

“Willie Nelson: American Outlaw” is available for pre-order at

“Willie Nelson: American Outlaw” – DVD, CD release (Dec. 11, 2020)

Thursday, November 19th, 2020
by: Lorie Hollabaugh

Blackbird Presents is releasing the CD and DVD of Willie Nelson American Outlaw, the once-in-a-lifetime concert event taping at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena celebrating the songs of icon Willie Nelson, on Dec. 11.

The concert film and CD features performances by Nelson, The Avett Brothers, Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, George Strait, Jack Johnson, Jamey Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Lukas Nelson, Norah Jones and The Little Willies, Sheryl Crow, and many more.

Performance highlights include “Willie Got Me Stoned” (Performed by Jack Johnson) and Nelson classics such as “Whiskey River”(Performed by Chris Stapleton), “Me and Paul” (Performed by Eric Church), “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” (Performed by Vince Gill), along with duets “The Harder They Come” (with Jimmy Buffett), “Crazy” (with Dave Matthews), “You Were Always On My Mind” (with Chris Stapleton and Derek Trucks), “After The Fire Is Gone” (with Sheryl Crow), and an All-Star performance of “On The Road Again.” In addition to these star-studded performances, music history was made when Nelson and George Strait performed together for the very first time on “Sing One With Willie” and “Good Hearted Woman.”

“Willie and his songs mean everything to music artists and fans alike. Like Willie, they have inspired us to remain true to ourselves in every possible way. This incredible lineup of artists on this show is a testament to that,” says Blackbird Presents CEO Keith Wortman.

Blackbird Presents/Caroline Records will release the full-length concert film in all audio and video formats including CD/DVD combo, now available for immediate preorder at

“Waiting for the Miracle to Come”, with Willie Nelson

Monday, November 9th, 2020

Rent it or buy it here.

Set in a timeless fairytale of magical realism, Waiting for the Miracle to Come tells the story of a young trapeze artist played by Sophie Lowe who is guided by the spirit of her father to find a place in the desert.

A mysterious oasis called The Beautiful Place. There she finds two retired Vaudeville Stars played by Charlotte Rampling and Willie Nelson.The young girl will be taken on a dream like journey teaching her that love and sacrifice is all that binds us and that death is sometimes not the end of life, but just the beginning.



Charlotte RamplingSophie LoweWillie NelsonErwin McManus


Lian LunsonBonoWim WendersMolly M. MayeuxTerence BerryJ. Mitchell White

Writer and Director Lian Lunson

This day in Willie Nelson history: “Songwriter”

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Today in 1984, the movie, “Songwriter,” starring Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson premiered in Nashville.

Willie Nelson and Amy Irving, in “Honeysuckle Rose”

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

Willie Nelson, movie star

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020
by:  Tom Leydon

When it comes to acting in feature films and TV-movies, Willie Nelson is game for just about any sort of role — as long as the role allows him to more or less be himself. “I pretty much play whatever I am or whoever I am,” he told us a few years back. “And that doesn’t require a lot of acting.” So where would he place acting on his lengthy list of achievements? “Probably at the bottom. I’m probably the worst actor ever.”

Sorry, but that’s not an appraisal we would echo. Indeed, we would go so far as to say that Shotgun Willie is his own harshest critic when it comes to evaluating his work on screen. To celebrate his birthday, we’re taking a second look at some of the memorable titles on his resume, all of them available on streaming platforms.

The Electric Horseman (1979)

Credit The Sundance Kid as the one who first recognized Willie Nelson ought to be in pictures. As Nelson recalls in his 2016 autobiography It’s a Long Story: My Life, he and Robert Redford were seated together on an L.A.-bound plane after a New York benefit when Redford suggested that Nelson’s “naturally relaxed” style would serve him well on screen. Director Sydney Pollack agreed — and cast Nelson in The Electric Horseman as a laid-back pal of Redford’s over-the-hill rodeo champ, who gallops out of Las Vegas with a prize-winning horse. “I didn’t plan and I didn’t rehearse,” Nelson recalls. “I learned my lines, but tended to bend them my own way — or borrow from writer friends. In The Electric Horseman, Pollack loved the line I spewed: ‘Gonna get myself a bottle of tequila and find me one of those Keno girls who can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch and kick back.’ Still not sure how that made it past the ratings people. Wish I could claim credit, but I’d found it in a novel by my buddies Bud Shrake and Dan Jenkins, who were happy to lend it out.”

Honeysuckle Rose (1980)

Nelson didn’t exactly stretch himself in his first star vehicle, a musical dramedy in which he was cast as “a Willie Nelson-styled character” (his description, not ours) who’s torn between his love for his wife (Dyan Cannon) and his affair with his girlfriend (Amy Irving). While flying on a private plane during pre-production location scouting, producer Sydney Pollack and director Jerry Schatzberg encouraged him to write a song about being on the road during a concert tour. By the time the plane landed, Nelson had completed the lyrics for — yes, you guessed it! — “On the Road Again.” As he relates in his autobiography: “Independent of the film, the song wound up with a life of its own. Even got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Became a big hit on its own — so big that when it was time to air the movie on TV, they changed the title from Honeysuckle Rose to On the Road Again. That simple song, a part of my nightly repertoire since I wrote it back in 1979, has had a longer battery life than the film it was written for.”

Thief (1981)

Nelson proved he had the right stuff as a serious character actor in director Michael Mann’s violent caper thriller, in which he played the mentor and former cellmate of the film’s protagonist, Frank (James Caan), a veteran jewel thief who desperately wants to start a family even as his plies his illegal trade. Critic Roger Ebert wrote in his original Chicago Sun-Times review: “If Thief has a weak point, it is probably in the handling of the Willie Nelson character. Nelson is set up well: He became Caan’s father-figure in prison, Caan loves him more than anybody, and when he goes to visit him in prison they have a conversation that is subtly written to lead by an indirect route to Nelson’s understated revelation that he is dying and does not want to die behind bars… But then the Nelson character quickly disappears from the movie, and we’re surprised and a little disappointed. Willie has played the character so well that we wanted more.”

Barbarosa (1982)

New York Times film critic Janet Maslin aptly described this exceptional Tex-Mex border western — directed by Fred Schepisi (Roxanne) and written by Bill Witliff (Lonesome Dove) — as “a film that uses one American legend, Willie Nelson, to create another.” In the title role of a celebrated outlaw who alienated himself from his Mexican wife’s family by killing a few of his in-laws (in self-defense) on his wedding night, Nelson comes across as a sad yet proud folk hero who proves to be an invaluable resource for fellow outcasts like the fugitive farm boy played by Gary Busey. “When Barbarosa first appears,” Maslin wrote, “he is caught up in a gunfight and a bullet nicks his cheek, but Mr. Nelson doesn’t even flinch. He doesn’t appear to believe anything could really harm him, and the audience shares his supreme confidence after a while.”

Songwriter (1984)

Director Alan Rudolph (Trouble in Mind, Love at Large) and screenwriter Bud Shrake brought out the best in co-stars Nelson and Kris Kristofferson during this amiable comedy-drama about a country singer-songwriter (Nelson) who relies on help from a fellow entertainer (Kristofferson) and an up-and-coming singer (Lesley Ann Warren) to turn the tables on an a slick operator who controls the rights to his songs. Roger Ebert again proffered praise: “[I]t’s interesting how subtle his acting is. Unlike a lot of concert stars whose moves tend to be too large for the intimacy of a movie, Nelson is a gifted, understated actor.”

Stagecoach (1986)

Veteran actor Thomas Mitchell earned an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a hard-drinking doctor who earns the respect of his traveling companions in John Ford’s original 1939 Stagecoach. Nelson didn’t receive a comparable accolade for playing essentially the same part in this made-for-cable remake, in which he co-starred with fellow Highwaymen Kris Kristofferson (in the John Wayne role), Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. On the other hand, thanks to some revisionist scriptwriters, Nelson didn’t play just any doctor — he was Doc Holliday. No kidding.

Red-Headed Stranger (1986)

Bill Witliff wrote and directed this independently produced western, loosely based on Nelson’s 1975 album of the same title. Critics weren’t kind, and audiences were scarce, but Nelson — who credibly played the lead role of preacher in need of a shot at redemption after killing his treacherous wife — managed to make a profit for his investors. More important, he continues to use Luck, the near-Austin western town set constructed for the film, for musical and movie events.

The Big Bounce (2004)

Author Elmore Leonard wasn’t impressed by the first movie version of his 1969 crime novel The Big Bounce — and, truth to tell, he wasn’t all that happy about this adaptation, either. And yet, oddly enough, the 2004 reboot — which relocated to Hawaii the original narrative about a ne’er-do-well (Owen Wilson) tempted into thievery by a shady lady —actually seems a lot more like a Leonard story than the original novel. Nelson and Harry Dean Stanton don’t really have much to do as card-playing cronies of supporting player Morgan Freeman, but they appear to be having a nice time, and it’s easy to share their mellow, what-the-hell vibe.

The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)

As Uncle Jesse in this big-screen version of the 1979-85 TV series about good ol’ boys in souped-up cars, Nelson saunters through the proceedings with, as New York Times film critic A.O. Scott noted, “the mellow ease of a man who can earn a paycheck just by showing up.” For those of you who have always wanted to see him punch out Burt Reynolds — and you know who you are, so don’t be coy about it — well, this is the movie for you. (To his credit, Reynolds plays the sleazy Boss Hogg just bombastically enough to make himself well worth punching.)

Angels Sing (2013)

Originally known as When Angels Sing, the 1999 Turk Pipkin novel on which it’s based, director Tim McCanlies’ family-friendly dramedy has Nelson perfectly cast as Nick, a cheery old fellow who might be Santa Claus, or even an angel — or, really, anything else that bah-humbugging college professor Michael Walker (Harry Connick Jr.) might need to jump-start his seasonal ho-ho-hoing. Would he agree that he was cast against type in this one? “Oh, sure,” Nelson said with a chuckle when we talked to him about the film back in 2013. “Me as an angel? Yeah, this could be the hardest part I’ve ever played.”

Waiting for the Miracle to Come (2019)

The improbable pairing of Nelson and famed British actress Charlotte Rampling turns out to be a match made in movie heaven as the two living legends bring out the best in each other during the course of writer-director Lian Lunson’s freeform, fantasy-tinged drama. Filmed largely on location at Nelson’s Luck ranch, the movie is a dreamily stylized concoction that has something to do with a budding young trapeze artist (Sophie Lowe) eager to help her newly widowed mother (Sile Bermingham) unlock a secret from her troubled past, and something else to do with two long-married ex-vaudevillians who operate a combination trailer park, horse ranch, and performance venue. Whether together, individually, or in one-on-one scenes with Lowe, Nelson and Rampling convey such raw emotional authenticity — running the gamut from anguished remorse to indefatigable faith — that it’s very east to believe their characters have spent a lifetime together.