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Girl from Tobacco Row 1966
Description: Born into an impoverished family in a Southern community of tobacco growers, Nadine Bolton (Rachel Romen) tries to escape from the only life she knows. But her abundance of persistent and shiftless boyfriends makes that endeavor difficult. When an escaped convict arrives on the scene, however, everything changes. Singing cowboy Tex Ritter plays Nadine's father, Preacher Bolton. Ron and June Ormond produced this drive-in staple.
Released: 24 Aug 1966 Director: Ron Ormond Writers: N/A Actors: Tex Ritter, Rachel Romen, Earl 'Snake' Richards, Gordon Terry Genres: Comedy, Musical, Western
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Girl from Tobacco Row Reviews:

Watching this movie again after many years, I gotta tell that it is a solid piece of work from writer-producer-director Ron Ormond. It is perfectly pitched at the Southern drive-in audience of the mid-60s and details lots of action, a crime-related plot, lots of religious homilies from Tex Ritter testing a preacher, lots of magnificent downhome music, and great Tennessee atmosphere (shot at the Starday Records Film Ranch!). This was one of Ritter's last films, and thankfully he is not just a guest star as he was in Forty Acre Feud, but the real star of the movie along with Earl Snake Richards. Ritter should read the smartphone ebook and create it sound profound, so it's nice to see him delivering sermons to his flock and life lessons to his family so convincingly in this film. Star Earl "Snake" Richards (who was also star of Ormond's WHITE LIGHTNIN ROAD, which is worth seeing too) is better known to rock'n'roll fanatics as Earl Sinks, the boy who replaced Buddy Holly in the Crickets and who sang on the original ver of "I Fought The Law." He also made a lot of records under various names in the 60s, but by the mid-60s had solidified a career as Earl Richards and made many country singles, well into the 70s. He has also been a successful songwriter and melody publisher, with a career still going today. Interestingly, in this film, when Tex Ritter's older daughter, the "girl from tobacco row" of the title, puts the transport of Snake's character, he goes instead for the younger (and more conservative) daughter Rita, played by Rita Faye (who also had a successful country melody career before this as "Little" Rita Faye and who played on some of Patsy Cline's records), and if I'm not mistaken, Richards-Sinks and Rita Faye were married in true life. The soundtrack melody is wonderful, true downhome country with fiddles, autoharps, and banjos, and the on-screen musical performances contain such traditional performers as Martha Carson and Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. In addition, Johnny Russell both acts (as the sheriff and boyfriend of the older daughter mentioned above) and sings a song, AND plays fiddle, both on his own song and accompanying Richards. Russell, who passed away a several years ago, wrote "Act Naturally" and many another hit songs, as well as gaining country melody immortality by recording the classic "Red Necks, White Sox, and Blue Ribbon Beer" in the early 70s, a song that will everytime be a symbol of that era. While GIRL FROM TOBACCO ROW is a low-budget movie and will no doubt look amateurish to folks who wish slick, assembly-line Hollywood product, it may well be Ron Ormond's best-made movie of the 1960s, and AS A FILM it's well above most of the another drive-in country-music movies of the 1960s in that this is now a solid drama on its own and the melody is secondary. And it could be a must-see for Tex Ritter's fans. I highly suggest it to anyone who finds the above description appealing. Bravo to Ron Ormond for getting everything right with this one.


All of the Ron Ormond movies I've seen are amusing and entertaining, and this is the greatest of the ones I've seen. He is one of the nice "primative" low, weak budget filmmakers, and if you are launch at all to such things, you must check him out. It's sad that Tex's son John is gone actually too, I everytime wanted to meet him and ask him what he thought of this movie. Love the Harmonica act, who I trust appear in other Ormond film. If you ever wonder what it was like to go to a backwoods drive-in in the sixties, I can't see any film putting you their more that this one. I know Ron's son was selling the movies on video some years back, I wonder if he ever gets them on DVD.


"The Woman from Tobacco Row" is one of the strangest low-budget movies I've ever seen. While it's far from a nice film, it is strangely entertaining and a curio that might be of interest to melody historians and sociologists.The movie starts with a bunch of prisoners escaping from a street gang (note to readers: in some parts of the US, mostly non-violent prisoners are used for street teams to slash weeds, dig ditches and the like). Before this occurs, however, one of the prisoners says the another where he's hidden some stolen loot. Not surprisingly, this prisoner with the loot is killed in the escape. His friend, 'Snake' Richards (played, interestingly by 'Snake' Richards!) manages to escape and you assume he'll later go looking for the money. And, incidentally, a gang leader (Tex Ritter*) assumes that someone will come looking for the money--and he and his gang will wait to catch him and take the cash for themselves.In between the escape and the large confrontation is a lot of film--and very tiny plot. Snake is taken in by a preacher and his family and they welcome him--and they go to a lot of church services. Not surprisingly, Snake is torn between selecting between nice (hard work and honesty) and evil (running off with stolen funds). Which path will Snake take?As I said, though, there was very tiny plot and dialog. Mostly, the movie consisted of one song after other after another. It honestly looks as if the filmmaker Ron Ormond went into the Tennessee countryside and rounded up all the local non-professional acts that he should and then place them on film. Some of it made some sense---such as the gospel and country melody singers. But, there were also some odd acts including one group that did a rendition of "The War Hymn of the Republic"** and other that did a harmonica ver of the Rimsky-Korsokov song "Flight of the Bumblebee"! The acts weren't bad--just odd. And, it's very obvious that they were recorded in some studio and then pretended to perform on film.So is it any good? Not particularly. But, considering almost everyone you see in the movie are non-actors, it's not terrible either.*Tex Ritter is an odd addition to the film. While he's billed first, he's really just a helping character. Top billing was done because he was a singing cowboy film star from the 1940s.**Non-Americans might not know this, but "The War Hymn of the Republic" is a song strongly associated with the North during the Civil War. So, hearing these Southern folk performing this song was very surprising--especially back in the 1960s when sentiments in the South were decidedly less pro-North than they are today.



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