Review: ‘Back Roads’

Plot focuses on Southern hooker Sally Field who meets down-on-his-luck-boxer Tommy Lee Jones in the course of a working night. Jones can't pay for his fun but is intrigued by the spunky Field - so much so that he punches out a policeman about to bust her.

Plot focuses on Southern hooker Sally Field who meets down-on-his-luck-boxer Tommy Lee Jones in the course of a working night. Jones can’t pay for his fun but is intrigued by the spunky Field – so much so that he punches out a policeman about to bust her.

Forced to move out of her temporary abode, Field spends the night at Jones’ meager surroundings and sneaks out the next morning to take a look at the little boy she gave up for adoption some years ago. After the adoptive mother threatens to call the police if she persists trying to make contact. Field returns to Jones (who just lost his car-washing job) and the pair decide to leave Alabama for the promising California shores. Thrust of the film is their adventures hitchhiking along the road.

Although both stars rise above script contrivances, they are somehow never an affecting romantic pair. All of their shared troubles would seem to make a great love story but they never share enough really intimate moments to carry it off.

Back Roads

Production

Warner. Director Martin Ritt; Producer Ronald Shedlo; Screenplay Gary DeVore; Camera John A. Alonzo; Editor Sidney Levin; Music Henry Mancini; Art Director Walter Scott Herndon

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Sally Field Tommy Lee Jones Michael Gazzo M. Emmet Walsh
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