Nashville Girl (1976)

I discovered this movie thanks to Joe Bob Briggs’ How Rednecks Saved Hollywood presentation. The clips he showed were absolutely astounding and there was no way that the actual movie could live up to his speech about the film, right? Nope. This is one sordid piece of scummy moviemaking that does all that and more.

Director Gus Trikonis started his career as a dancer in West Side Story, playing Indio, a member of the Sharks. His directing work for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures led to Corman claiming he was one of the best young directors that he had worked with. His films run the gamut of hicksploitation, from The Side Hackers to The Swinging BarmaidsSupercockThe EvilMoonshine County Express and the movie based on the Johnny Paycheck sung and David Allen Coe written song Take This Job and Shove It. He was also married to Goldie Hawn for awhile.

Monica Gayle (The StewardessesSwitchblade Sisters) stars as Jamie, the Nashville Girl of the title (the film also played under the titles New Girl In Town and Country Music Daughter in an attempt to convince people it something to do with the Loretta Lynn bio Coal Miner’s Daughter). She’ll do anything to make it in Nashville after leaving town when she’s assaulted by a boyfriend and abused by her father. It doesn’t get any better in music city, trust me.

Somehow this movie goes from jailbait in trouble to massage parlor receptionist to women in prison to young girl getting pawed by every man in town in very short order, ending with her under the thrall and ownership of big time country star Jeb (Glenn Corbett of TV’s Route 66) and enduring the attentions of Kelly (Roger Davis, TV’s Dark Shadows, as well as Ruby and Killer Bees).

Judith Roberts shows up as Jeb’s long-suffering wife. She’d go on to star in things like Orange Is the New Black, but we know her best as Mary Shaw in Dead Silence.

Singer Johnny Rodriguez and songwriters Rory Bourke, Gene Dobbins, and John Wills all show up here and contribute music. None of this makes Nashville look like a great city to live in or be a rising female artist. There are more #metoo moments in five minutes of this movie than in pretty much everything Hollywood will release this year. It gets to the point that you honestly worry about Monica Gayle’s personal mental health. She might change her name to Melody Mason and get a whole new life story, but she can never escape the past that got her here.

Somehow, there’s a novel version of this movie that has even more sex in it. It’s written by Gary Friedrich, who co-created Ghost Rider. So there’s that.

You can watch this on Tubi and Amazon Prime. Or go all out and grab the Scorpion Releasing blu ray from Ronin Flix.

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