For the Bob Dylan song, see Outlaw Blues (song).
Outlaw Blues is a 1977 American drama film directed by Richard T. Heffron and starring Peter Fonda and Susan Saint James. Written by Bill L. Norton, the film is about an ex-convict and songwriter trying to break into the music business in Austin, Texas. When a famous country singer steals one of his songs and turns it into a hit, the songwriter confronts him, and in a struggle the country singer accidentally shoots himself. Once again running from the law, the songwriter, with the help of a savvy backup singer, records his stolen song himself, and his version becomes an even bigger hit. Some of the songs were sung by Peter Fonda, and three of the songs were written by Hoyt Axton.
Ex-convict Bobby Ogden (Peter Fonda) is trying to get his life straight and his career going as a country and western singer. Bobby shows off some of his tunes to Nashville star Garland Dupree (James Callahan). However, Dupree uses one his songs "Outlaw Blues" for himself with no credit to Bobby. Bobby confronts Dupree and when Dupree pulls a gun on him, he accidentally shoots himself in the ensuing struggle. Of course, Dupree tells everyone that Bobby shot him. Now Bobby's on the run, with only Dupree's recently fired back up singer Tina Waters (Susan Saint James) believing him. The pair flee together, as Bobby becomes an underground hero who is accepted as the man who actually wrote the hit, while being put on the law enforcement's most wanted list.
Peter Fonda as Bobby Ogden,
Susan Saint James as Tina Waters,
John Crawford as Chief Buzz Cavenaugh,
James T. Callahan as Garland Dupree,
Michael Lerner as Hatch,
Steve Fromholz as Elroy,
Richard Lockmiller as Associate Warden,
Matt Clark as Billy Bob,
Jan Rita Cobler as Cathy Moss,
Gene Rader as Leon Warback,
Curtis Harris as Big Guy,
Jerry Greene as Disc Jockey,
Dave Helfert as Anchorman,
Jeffrey Friedman as Newsman,
James N. Harrell as Cop Chauffeur,
Outlaw Blues was filmed on location in Austin, Texas and Huntsville, Texas.
In his review in The New York Times, film critic A. H. Weiler found the film to be "pleasantly palatable it not especially nutritious" and "an amiable, lilting, if lightweight, diversion." Weiler acknowledges that the cast "make the most of a musical genre that has millions of devoted fans."
On the aggregate reviewer web site Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 63% positive viewer rating based on 86 user ratings.