- Rated: PG-13
- Run Time: 1 hours, 43 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: June 24, 2008
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Screen Media
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Snap Case
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.78
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English
- Subtitles - English (SDH), Spanish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Featurette: Behind the Scenes
- Audio Commentary: Director's Commentary
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Los Angeles Times - 12/28/2007
"The film evocatively charts a time and place where change has been a longtime coming and buoyantly imagines a turning point where, at least musically, anything is possible."
Total Film - 06/01/2008
4 stars out of 5 -- "All the strands that fed into rock 'n' roll -- R&B, blues, jazz, gospel and country -- run through the action, finally coming together in the jam session that forms the film's triumphant unfettered climax."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2008
"[T]his is a warm, sweet-natured movie....Glover holds the centre with weary dignity, and there's a touchingly vulnerable performance from Yaya DaCosta..."
Empire - 06/01/2008
3 stars out of 5 -- "Throw in a fledgling R&B soundtrack and earthy photography courtesy of Mike Leigh regular Dick Pope, and you've got a gentle, enjoyable musical fable."
Uncut - 06/01/2008
3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]s always with Sayles, the good stuff is in the characterisations. Glover is a treat as Pine Top, and there's a fine comic turn from Charles S. Dutton as his long-suffering side-kick..."
Director John Sayles (LONE STAR) takes a journey back to racially segregated Alabama for this provocative feature. The year is 1950, and Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis (Danny Glover) is a club owner whose establishment, the Honeydripper Lounge, has fallen on hard times. With the club about to close, Tyrone decides to take one last gamble, announcing that the legendary Guitar Sam is to make an appearance at the Honeydripper. When Guitar Sam is a no-show, Tyrone calls on a young guitar player named Sonny (Gary Clark Jr.) to impersonate the errant star, hoping that none of his patrons will notice and the club will earn a late reprieve.
Sayles's plot is interweaved with plenty of racial tension and a blunt illustration of the rich/poor divide in America during these turbulent times. HONEYDRIPPER builds slowly towards the inevitable climax--the concert at Tyrone's club--with Sayles demonstrating his usual masterly eye for character study and his meticulous attention to detail in both set design and costume. The director stirs a little music history into the plot as he hints at how the South's passion for R&B and blues would ultimately lead to the birth of rock & roll, and the film's soundtrack is filled with gloriously uplifting tunes. The excellent cast features a reliably great turn from Glover, who is ably supported by an eclectic bunch of actors, including Charles S. Dutton, Keb' Mo', Stacy Keach, and Mary Steenburgen. Sayles brings his ample knowledge of African American history to the fore once again (see also: SUNSHINE STATE), providing plenty of food for thought, and some highly entertaining musical interludes, as he adds another fascinating entry to his wide-ranging cinematic canon.
- Theatrical Release: December 28, 2007 (Limited)