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Probably don't know they give me these late John Garfield blues

past updates

7/1/01 According to IMBD: Release dates for the movie are:
Mexico   -  1 Feb '01
Argentina- 23 Aug '01
Belgium - 23 Jan '02

Billy Bob Thornton and Laura Dern in Daddy and Them6/7/01 Newport International Film Festival world premiere of Daddy and Them took place on June 6, 2001 with a second screening on June 9, 2001
This from Special Screenings: Welcome to America's heartland, home of hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves -- and Claude (Thornton) and Ruby (Dern) Montgomery. Never has a couple in these parts been as madly in love, or as often at odds. When news reaches them that Claude's Uncle Hazel (Varney) has been arrested, they head to the family homestead in Little Rock to lend their support. As the extended family reunites, it quickly becomes clear that, with this bunch, anything goes and everyone speaks their mind. It's a tasty mix of ambrosia salad, armed robbery, sex talk, head-on collisions, and a Macarena monkey -- all the fixins for a love story only Billy Bob Thornton could cook up. The cast of characters includes Kelly Preston as Ruby's sultry sister Rose, Diane Ladd as Ruby's eccentric mother Jewel, Ben Affleck and Jamie Lee Curtis as the husband and wife attorneys assigned to the case, Brenda Blethyn as Hazel's worried wife Julia and Andy Griffith as the loveable, but slightly senile family patriarch O.T. Several years after Sling Blade was one of the most refreshing discoveries of 1996, Billy Bob Thornton is set to deliver his second film set in Arkansas. In 1992 writer/director Billy Bob starred in One False Move. By 1996 Thornton was nominated for an Academy Award for Sling Blade and has since acted in such films as Pushing Tin, Armageddon, Homegrown, Primary Colors, A Simple Plan, and U-Turn. His new fame and influence means that his second Arkansas film had a larger budget and an even more diverse cast of well-known actors. Thornton employs these expanded resources to create unexpected laughs and great warmth.

Laura Dern and Billy Bob Thornton in Daddy and them7/7/01

Review of the NIFF showing of Daddy and Them
June 7, 2001
By: Jody Chambley
John wasn't there at the Film Festival. The only one was Marty Stuart. He intro'd the movie. According to the Indie promoter, the movie is 'supposed' to be released in the fall...but we'll see about that. Overall the movie was good. It is rated R, primarily due to the language (sexual in nature). John's character was interesting...he loved to read. At the end, he uses some of the information he had read in order to bring things together. He doesn't do a lot of talking, but some of the expressions, etc. are quite funny. Billy Bob did well in writing the movie. As you may know, it is set in Arkansas. Think of the family as being in the redneck range. The banter between Claude (Billy Bob) and his mother-in-law is great. Overall the family talks a lot, but no one really listens...can you relate? I don't want to tell you too much so that you'll go in "fresh". I think it's a good movie, and John did great. As mentioned earlier, the only factor that really needs considering is the language (in case you were thinking of taking any youngsters.


John Prine in Daddy and ThemThis just in from babymac of Franklin, TN:
Summary: Intelligent sentimental comedy.
I saw a rough edit of this film in December of 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can only wonder at what has caused the release of this movie to be delayed. Feel free to e-mail me if you can shed any light on this. The movie is set in suburban and rural Arkansas. The plot follows Billy Bob Thornton's character and his girlfriend played by Laura Dern. They belong to one of the most dysfunctional (and funny) families ever portrayed on screen. Most of the family members have serious problems with communication and alcohol. The family dynamic is further complicated when one of them (Jim Varney - rest his soul) is thrown in jail. Varney turns in an astounding performance and it's a true shame he isn't alive to see how the critics are going to react. The cast is full of quirky, interesting characters that are easy to connect with emotionally. John Prine steals the movie as the focal point of what is probably the most important (and hilarious) scene in the film...which I won't give away here. I highly recommend that you see this movie. Now the question is - When will the studio let you see it?

Nashville Independent Film Festival

Date: June 7, 2001
By: The Oh Boys

  Okay - Here's the report.
  First of all, the film screening was sold out as you can well imagine. It was a special screening that was a part of the annual 2001 Nashville Independent Film Festival. Marty Stuart, who composed the original score for the film, gave a brief introduction before the screening where he spoke about the recording of the music and how there were so many people in Nashville who were involved in the making of the movie. He also acknowledged the late Jim Varney as this was his last film before he died.
  This is a dark comedy, so there are some real belly laughs mixed with nervous laughs. But the end result was a really solid piece of filmmaking about a truly dysfunctional group of characters. As you can well imagine, John steals the picture. He has lots of screen time and Billy Bob gave him a number of choice lines and pivotal scenes. "In Spite Of Ourselves" plays in it's entirety over the end credits, and once you've seen the movie, it really comes together.
  The entire audience kept their seats until the lights came up, and the film got a rousing ovation!
  Sorry to report that there are no firm details on any other screenings or a release date. When we know, you will know.
  That's the report.

Nashville Independent Film Festival Showed Disappointments, Hope

Date: 7/7/01 
By: Kevin Nance  whole article: 
  Some of this year's biggest disappointments came from some of the most high-profile films. Billy Bob Thornton's Daddy and Them, whose cast consists almost entirely of ''name'' actors, suffers from a near-absence of plot and a queasy mélange of clashing tones. A Life for a Life, a BBC film starring Olympia Dukakis, is nearly indistinguishable from a dozen other innocent-man-unjustly-accused stories. And an updated Bartleby, starring Crispin Glover and David Paymer, can't resist sugar-coating Herman Melville's dark themes with an excess of ham-fisted humor.

5/25/01  Nashville Independent Film Festival will show Daddy and Them Thursday June 7, 6:30pm in Nashville Tennessee at the Regal Green Hills Cinema! 

1/18/01 Okay, "All the Pretty Horses" is out of the stable and running...but where is "Daddy and Them"?  Who knows, but rest assured, if I can find some information, it will be here.  In the meantime, here is a nice story on Jim Varney  (Nashville Scene 11/99) that you can read in the meantimealt

Release Date: Summer, 2001

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Dern, Kelly Preston, Ben Affleck, Diane Ladd, Brenda Blethyn, John Prine, Andy Griffith, Jamie Lee Curtis, Walt Goggins, Michael Jeter, Tuesday Knight, and Saundra Seacat

Directed by: Billy Bob Thornton

Plot: Billy Bob Thornton calls it a "white trash romantic comedy" about family strife, alcoholism, and relationships.  Claude (Thornton) and Ruby Dern). Never has a couple here been so madly in love, or so often at odds. When Claude's Uncle Hazel (Jim Varney who died 2/10/2000 at age 50, after a long bout with lung cancer.) is arrested for murder, they head to poor side of Little Rock, Arkansas to lend their support. As the family reunites, Ruby's mother/Ladd, her sister/Preston, his father/Griffith and his Zen hillbilly brother/Prine, it's clear that, with this bunch, anything goes and everyone speaks their mind - a tasty mix of ambrosia salad, armed robbery, sex talk, head-on collisions and a Macarena monkey.

You can order the Screen Play at Amazon.com 

 10/15/00 Sorry to say but it has been postponed again. According to the May, 2000 issue of Premiere, Miramax is holding this one back until sometime in 2001, until after the release of the movie that Billy Bob Thornton filmed after it, All The Pretty Horses.

January 1999
Latest news is that the movie is done and will probably come out in December of 1999.   John had a bigger role than he expected.  At this time no other word on what John's plans for the year are.

October 1998
Andy Griffith is just one of the faces at the office of Free Hazel Films, the project name of Billy Bob Thornton's new production, Daddy and Them.

The movie should began filming in mid-August and wrap by mid-October. Most shooting should be in central Arkansas. Thornton wrote and will direct the movie.

The movie is about a dark subject presented in a humorous way - it comes down to lack of communication among families and friends. It's going to be an odd one, particularly for Southerners, funny enough and familiar enough. It deals with excessive drinking and things of that nature. People won't feel preached at or anything.

Thornton will be in the movie along with his girlfriend, actress Laura Dern. There reportedly will be many faces in the movie, with well-known actors playing many of the smaller roles.

One of the friendlier faces to appear will be Andy Griffith. John Prine is currently in production at this writing. A few Arkansans were already noting the irony that the artists would come to Arkansas for a movie but not a concert, as many fans have been hoping.

Little Rock residents are having fun spotting Thornton around town everywhere from working out at the Little Rock Athletic Club to shopping at Park Plaza and Best Buy. Sometimes no one seems to notice him -- he's lost a significant amount of weight since Sling Blade -- but sometimes people are a little too friendly. Thornton left a Travelers game early the other night due to all the attention.

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