In 1976, studios were looking for projects for America's bicentennial that spoke to the character and history of the country. Coming off the stratospheric success of Shampoo, Ashby used his newfound studio clout to make a biopic about legendary dustbowl folk singer Woody Guthrie that managed simultaneously to be the sleek Academy Awards contender that United Artists wanted it to be (it was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture) and an idiosyncratic, nuanced and personal picture. Like many of Ashby's '70s films, its central character is a young(-ish) man on a quest to find himself, and it's to Ashby's great credit that his unconventional choice to cast David Carradine (previously just a TV actor on Kung Fu) as Guthrie works so well, maybe because both Ashby and Carradine shared with Guthrie a quintessentially American kind of wanderlust. The late, great cinematographer Haskell Wexler deservedly won an Oscar for his work on the film, which includes the first ever Steadicam shot.
Oscars 1977 - Best Cinematography, Best Music
Hal Ashby, in full William Hal Ashby, (1929-1988), American filmmaker, one of the preeminent directors of the 1970s, who was especially noted for such films as Harold and Maude (1971), Shampoo (1975), and Being There (1979).
1970 Właściciel / The Landlord
1971 Harold i Maude / Harold and Maude
1973 Ostatnie zadanie / The Last Detail
1975 Szampon / Shampoo
1976 By nie pełzać na kolanach / Bound for Glory
1978 Powrót do domu / Coming Home
1979 Wystarczy być / Being There