George Strait was perhaps the most far fetched contender for movie stardom out of all the country stars in the 1980s and 1990s. The undisputed King of Country Music was notoriously known for avoiding on-camera appearances earlier in his career and has long stopped doing media interviews.
So, imagine the surprise of his fans – and even the entire music industry – when he starred in the 1992 film Pure Country.
George Strait played the role of country singer Dusty Chandler, who has grown frustrated with the frill and fame that he went to his hometown to find himself and to look for what made him start making music in the first place. It was a story of soul-searching and redemption that only Strait’s gentleness and charisma can perfectly portray.
Through the years, more country fans have taken a liking to the ’90s flick, and we’re pretty sure you’ve seen it countless times, too. But there’s actually much about the film that you probably don’t know! Keep on scrolling below to find out.
- Strait almost turned down the movie. He was afraid the film would put his singing career in trouble, but not until he had done 250 dates a year and felt the kind of burnout Dusty had.
- Strait got some convincing from Elvis Presley’s manager. The King of Rock and Roll’s manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker, encouraged Strait to pursue an acting career – which Strait was at first reluctant of. But with Parker’s persistent nudge, he eventually caved in. Parker’s friend then called Pure Country’s writer, and the country singer got the role.
- The young boy’s voice you’ll hear in the opening song is that of Strait’s son, George “Bubba’ Strait Jr. “Heartland” was featured as the film’s opening track. It has a slower beat compared to the original version, and a little voice would come in. It turned out that little voice belonged to Strait’s son, who was only ten years old then. The older Strait would come in to join the youngster for the ultimate father-son duet!
- The Pure Country cast includes Strait’s Ace In The Hole Band. The band that appeared in the film, except for John Doe, is actually Strait’s real band. Ace In The Hole Band has been the country superstar’s backup band since 1975. The members met while they were students at Southwest Texas State University.
- The movie was made exclusively in Texas. Maypearl, Mansfield, Midlothian, Cresson are the towns you’ll see in the film. The concert scenes were filmed at Fort Worth’s concert venues.
- Strait did his own stunts. Despite the crew members’ hesitance and discomfort, Strait was able to convince everyone to do his own stunts during the roping scene. The country legend is actually an avid team roper and has been hosting team roping for his south Texas friends.
- Strait tried to change the name of the movie. The country singer was actually not a fan of the movie’s title as he believed it sounded like it was all about country when in fact, there’s so much more to that. So, he asked the production team to consider changing its name. Apparently, his wishes fell on deaf ears, and the title remained.
- The film doesn’t have a kissing scene between its leads. Many fans wonder why Dusty did not kiss Haley – played by lead actress Isabel Glasser – after singing for her at the end of the film. The scene was actually rewritten to show Dusty and Harley gazing longingly at each other. According to sources, it was because of the country singer’s wife, Norma, but Strait said, “that’s not it. It just didn’t happen.”
- It was considered a flop. Despite Strait’s popularity, Pure Country earned only more than $15 million at the box office and didn’t even crack the top five. However, it produced some of the best George Strait songs, with its soundtrack album becoming the best-selling album of his career.
Nevertheless, love for the film has seemed to increase over time, as well.
Indeed, it’s hard to believe that Pure Country hit theaters nearly three decades ago. Right now, the film is available to rent, purchase, or stream via subscription on Apple iTunes, HBO Max, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, among others.
For now, you can watch its official trailer below to help you decide to finally watch the film.