Honky Tonk Freeway 1981 ***


John Schlesinger blotted his CV (Midnight Cowboy, Marathon Man) with this hugely unpopular and expensive comedy drama, which at the time was saddled with the mantle of the ‘most expensive comedy ever’. As a 1980’s period piece, its ambition and scope deserve considerable applause. Beau Bridges is amongst many Floridians caught up with the tiny town of Ticlaw faces the prospect of getting cut of from civilization by a new motorway plan, with no exit for Ticlaw on the cards. The town rouses itself in the style of an Ealing comedy, making increasingly desperate attempts to put itself on the map, including painting itself pink and a water-skiing elephant. Topped with a raucous freeway pile-up, Schlesinger’s film is comparable with Robert Altman is weaving a grand tapestry of several strata of US society.


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