Back Roads (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes

Back Roads1981

Back Roads (1981)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Back Roads Photos

Movie Info

For his follow-up to 1979's Academy Award-winning Norma Rae, director Martin Ritt re-teams with that film's star, Sally Field, for this gritty romantic road comedy. Reportedly Ritt's homage to Frank Capra's films of the 1930s, Back Roads stars Field as Amy Post, a no-nonsense prostitute in the deep South struggling with the fact that she gave up her only child for adoption. When Amy first encounters the recently unemployed Elmore Pratt (Tommy Lee Jones), she is anything but fond of the drifter. But after taking to the road together with dreams of California, the two societal misfits find themselves falling for each other. Ritt and Field would team together once again four years later in another romantic comedy set in the South, Murphy's Romance.

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Sally Field
as Amy Post
Tommy Lee Jones
as Elmore Pratt
Dan Shor
as Spivey
Barbara Babcock
as Rickey's Mom
Nell Carter
as Waitress
Alex Colon
as Enrique
Billy Jacoby
as Boy Thief
Eric Laneuville
as Pinball Wizard
Matthew Campion
as Stromberg
Tony Ganios
as Bartini
David Powladge
as Fight Announcer
Billy Jayne
as The Boy Thief
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Critic Reviews for Back Roads

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

You come out of "Back Roads" feeling more familiar with the configuration of Sally Field's spinal column and chestbone than the character she's struggling to embody.

May 10, 2017 | Full Review…

Very good on local colour but a bit sugary in its attitude to the central relationship, it would have been better taking a bleaker cue from Tommy Lee Jones' admirably dry performance.

January 26, 2006
Top Critic

If the movie had been willing to deal honestly with the plight of its characters, it wouldn't need to be clutterted up with eccentrics and hearts of gold.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Less a movie than an extended sketch, and it's to the credit of Mr. Ritt, his stars and Gary Devore, the screenwriter, that the movie is so much fun.

August 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

Back Roads lacks originality and relies on the road trip movie genre. [Full Review in Spanish]

August 27, 2019 | Full Review…

It's a surprise to discover that this hackneyed, relatively dull road picture is the work of director Martin Ritt.

January 11, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Back Roads

There are a lot of good actors in this movie, but the story lets them down. It's boring, predictable, and disappointing in the end. I didn't care for it, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


appealing performers but the script isn't great

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Back Roads Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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