A landmark of American independent film from 1978, The Whole Shootin’ Match is a rapturous rediscovery. Eagle Pennell’s first feature details the tragi-comic struggles of two small-time schemers, Loyd (Lou Perryman) and Frank (Sonny Carl Davis), desperate to land their big break. Through its anecdotal narrative and fresh, honest observation of its characters, the film intimately captures a time and place (Austin, Texas, 1977) with its atmospheric photography and rough-hewn charm, making it an inspiration for filmmakers everywhere since its release. No wonder this is the film that prompted Robert Redford to start the Sundance Institute. Missing in action for close to 25 years, Watchmaker Films is proud to present a complete restoration from the only known existing print of The Whole Shootin’ Match and a completely remastered soundtrack from the original stems. —Watchmaker Films
Eagle Pennell, an independent film director and inspiration for the Sundance Film Institute, was born Glenn Irwin Pinnell on July 28, 1952, in Andrews, Texas. As an adult he changed his last name to honor film director Arthur Penn and Lt. Ross Pennell, a character in the movie She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949). He grew up in College Station where his father Charles taught civil engineering at Texas A&M University. His mother June recalled him as a child filming skits performed by his sisters with a Super 8 camera. After graduating from Texas A&M Consolidated High School Pennell attended the University of Texas in Austin where he majored in radio-television-film before dropping out in his junior year. He worked for a company that produced highlights of Southwest Conference football games and as a crew member on the cult film, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
Determined to direct films himself, Pennell began shooting a short feature entitled Hell of a Note which premiered… read more
The main characters are let to lead on the movie freely, which they do with cheer. I really liked the drive-in theater scene, it was honest about its sole purpose being to give a portrait of Frank's family, and this resulted in a refreshing feeling of arbitrariness. What was amazing though is that the fleeting change from bums to successful men did not disrupt the pace, it all happened quite naturally.
Dynamite early american indie from director Eagle Pennell that feels like a Texan cousin to Canada's 'Goin' Down the Road'. What makes it remarkable is just how genuine it feels, especially the relationships between the actors. Completely charming. Perryman, Davis and Hargrave all give exceptional performances here. A true unsung gem.