Classics of the Corn: Pure Country (1992)

There are few genres which immediately lend themselves to producing Classics of the Corn. One of those genres is the musical pseudo-biopic.

Pure Country takes bonafide country star George Strait and turns him into fictionalized country star Dusty Chandler (yes, the same name as Lizabeth Scott’s character from Dead Reckoning). Dusty is a man who feels like he’s stuck in a career as the puppet of his record label and PR team. The basic premise of the film is that Dusty decides to leave his big arena concerts behind in search of true country music and true looooove.

The tone deaf singing of a child kicks off the film, transitioning into the vocals of George Strait before transitioning again into a different song sung by George Strait on screen… while wearing a bedazzled jacket and rockin’ the tiny ponytail hair-do. I can think of few film characters with a fashion sense so tacky and glorious.

(Image: gonnaputmeinthemovies.blogspot)

(Image: gonnaputmeinthemovies.blogspot)

Even when the story lags due to the overabundance of musical performances packed into the film, enjoyment can be found in the ultra-corny handiwork of the wardrobe department. Dusty isn’t alone in his wacky fashions; audience members decked out in very stereotypical late ’80s/early ’90s garb (high-waisted shorts, color blocked t-shirts, the whole nine yards) sway along to the smooth sounds of our good buddy “Dusty.”

The film really tries to drive hope the point that Dusty is a capital-s-Superstar. Crazy fans are escorted off stage by beefy body guards in “Dusty” jackets. Mobs await his arrival as he exits the venue at the end of the concert.

Another exciting element of the film is its attempt to convey meaning through trippy scenes of Dusty’s mental breakdown, complete with distorted imagery and ever-lazier delivery of each line he sings. The viewer begins to see Dusty’s resemblance to that tone-deaf kid from the opening as he stumbles over words and acts like he could very well pass out at any moment.

You may be wondering at this point, how will our dear Dusty solve all of his problems? The answer is simple: he lashes out at the management (which includes a baby-faced Kyle Chandler) by yelling “AH DON’T SAY YEW OUT THAR MAKIN’ THOSE PE-OPLE SCREA-UM” with an exaggerated southern accent, gets in a seriously over-dramatic fist fight in a rainy parking lot, and then goes along his merry way to pay a visit to his grandmother.

For its moments of dullness, Pure Country has its share of stellar moments of corn as well which make it worth watching.

George Strait’s musical performances are for the most part fantastic, especially if you are a fan of the genre or of him as a singer. (I happen to be a fan, partially for nostalgic reasons.) His performance as an actor, however, is not the greatest. I’m sure a singer could have been found who could have carried the role better and made the film a decent drama rather than a mild cornfest, but Strait’s talent and reputation as a musician are the film’s major draw, and in that respect it is an enjoyable watch.

Avoid this one like the plague if you despise country music, since it is absolutely packed with musical performances. If you are a fan of the genre, don’t mind it or are at the very least willing to put up with it for the sake of the corn, this is a decent flick to tune into. Don’t expect a level of corn as great as that of Frogs, but there is a fair amount to enjoy here.

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8 thoughts on “Classics of the Corn: Pure Country (1992)

  1. Thanks to your wonderful ‘Corn’ review, I think I’ll watch ‘Frogs’ again before I ever, ever watch ‘Pure Country’! But here’s the question of the day: what made YOU want to sit down and watch ‘Pure Country’?

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    • George Strait in a bedazzled jacket was the big selling point for me, haha. I caught a clip of one of the musical performances on TV one day and had to seek out the whole film after seeing that outfit.

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      • Okay, you’re forgiven! I’ll do the same thing if I see a baseball scene in a preview trailer or photo…I’ll watch the film at some point just to see what it’s all about, or how the scene is being used, or if there’s anything ‘baseball cool’ to be seen. Of course, it also means suffering through a movie I never really wanted to see in the first place!

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  2. Nope, I cannot bring myself to watch a movie with (A) a lot of country music and (B) a musician who can’t really act. Your review, however, was worth the price of admission.

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    • Haha, it’s definitely not a film for everyone! Even some of the most dedicated corn-hunters shy away from it. I have a little bit of a soft spot for country music, having spent a good chunk of my childhood living in Nashville. My grandpa is also practically George Strait’s biggest fan, so I grew up on the music and have a nostalgic love for a lot of ’90s country hits. Glad you enjoyed the review, anyway. :)

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  3. I actually like 90’s era country music which includes a lot of George Straight songs, so wasn’t put off by that aspect of the movie. What concerns me the most after reading your review is that I was actually quite entertained all the way through it and not in a “it’s so corny it’s good kind of way.” Maybe I should watch the movie again if only to make sure I now see it for what it truly is!

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    • Oh, don’t feel bad if you were genuinely entertained by it! It isn’t full of corn — it just has enough moments that were laughable to me for it to be considered for the CotC series. Everyone watches films differently, too. I get genuine, non-corny entertainment from Josie and the Pussycats and Bring it On, even though most people consider them cheesy, nostalgic watches.

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