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Straight Talk

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Barnet Kellman
Produced by Carol Baum,
Fred Berner,
Robert Chartoff
Written by Craig Bolotin
Starring Dolly Parton,
James Woods,
Griffin Dunne,
Michael Madsen,
Deirdre O'Connell
Music by Brad Fiedel,
Dolly Parton
Cinematography Peter Sova
Editing by Michael Tronick
Distributed by Hollywood Pictures
Release date(s) 3 April 1992
Running time 91 min.
Country United States
Language English

Straight Talk is an American 1992 comedy film starring Dolly Parton and James Woods.

Plot summary

Parton stars as Shirlee Kenyon, a down-home country girl who through a series of mistakes is hired as a radio talk show host. Her show is wildly successful but her success is based on the lie that she is actually a clinical psychologist. She has to learn that giving advice and following it can be harder than she thought.

Shirlee starts off in the film as a dance instructor living in Arkansas. After she is fired for giving advice rather than teaching dance, she attempts to convince her boyfriend to move to Chicago with her. After he declines and then belittles her, she decides to move there herself.

Once she arrives, she is standing on a bridge enjoying the view of the city when she accidentally drops a twenty-dollar bill. As she climbs over the rail in an attempt to retrieve the money, Jack (played by James Woods) sees her from his office window. He is a reporter for a Chicago newspaper. He thinks she is trying to commit suicide, so he runs out to rescue her. As he attempts to grab her and save her, Shirlee almost falls and drops the money she was trying to recover. After they recover, she complains that she lost the twenty dollars. Jack tries to give her money, saying she needs it more than he if she is willing to risk her life to retrieve it. She refuses and the two part.

Shirlee goes on many different job interviews, and finally lands a job as a switch board operator. One day, she inadvertently walks into a recording office, and the manager mistakes her as the new radio therapist. He puts her on the air and she completes a show before being fired by the producer once he comes into the office. However, once the radio station boss demands that Shirlee be the new radio personality, the Alan is forced to find Shirlee and convince her to do the show. Shirlee accepts the position, but there is one condition: she must agree to pretend to be a real clinical doctor. She reluctantly accepts and becomes a popular radio figure as "Doctor Shirlee."

Jack, the newspaper reporter, suspects something when he realizes the woman ready to risk her life for twenty dollars is a doctor. Although his boss doesn't agree, he pursues the story. He begins to date her. They begin to fall for one another when Shirlee's boyfriend from Arkansas comes and tries to get her back. His attempts fall short, and Shirlee and Jack wind up making love. Afterwards, Jack develops true feelings for her and refuses to publish a story about her. Shirlee finds out that he was trying to write a story, and although she is angry, the two eventually wind up together. Shirlee finally confesses to everyone on air that she is not a real doctor and leaves the show. All of her viewers call in and want her back. Someone calls the show and tells everyone listening to honk their horns if they want Doctor Shirlee back. Jack shows up on the same bridge where they met and convinces her to take him back. When she hears the horns, Jack tells them that they are for her. She eventually goes back to the radio show, but wants to be called just "Shirlee."

The vast majority of this film was shot in the historic downtown Lemont, Illinois. The "Flank Center" building was used to house the dance sequence scenes in the beginning of the film. Both Dolly Parton and James Woods ate at local establishments during filming off times. Most filming occurred in the early hours of the morning with the usage of high intensity floodlights to depict daytime. This was done to reduce interference with the general public who crowded the streets throughout the weeks of filming. The bar in the raining scene, Tom's Place", and the Barber Shop are still open with some small movie memorabilia.


Actor Role
Dolly Parton Shirlee Kenyon
James Woods Jack Russell
Griffin Dunne Alan Riegert
Michael Madsen Steve
Deirdre O'Connell Lily
John Sayles Guy Girardi
Teri Hatcher Janice
Spalding Gray Dr. Erdman
Jerry Orbach Milo Jacoby
Amy Morton Ann
Philip Bosco Gene Perlman
Charles Fleischer Tony
Keith MacKechnie Gordon
Jay Thomas Zim Zimmerman
Paula Newsome Ellen
Tracy Letts Sean
John Gegenhuber Waiter

External links



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