Billy Bob's Filmography



Director and Writer
Billy Bob Thornton

Claude Montgomery

Movie Quote
CLAUDE:  Can't a man even have a head-on collision around here?  In peace?

Once again sporting three hats as writer, director, and actor, Billy Bob plays Claude Montgomery, the youngest of three sons in this comic valentine to family dysfunction. Claude is a poor, white trash fella, freshly married to a fiery, insecure gal named Ruby (Laura Dern) and contending with all sorts of familial grief when his Uncle Hazel ( the late Jim Varney) is charged with murder. Claude's extended family includes his Daddy (Andy Griffith) and Them: brothers John Prine and Jeff Bailey, Macarena-monkey obsessed mother Sandra Seacat, mother-in-law (and Laura Dern's real-life mother) Diane Ladd, Ruby's self-centered sister Rose (Kelly Preston), Uncle Hazel's new, English-therapist wife (Brenda Blethyn), and Hazel's bickering, married defense lawyers (Ben Affleck and Jamie Lee Curtis).

What Billy Bob Gets To Do
As a blond, Billy Bob definitely gets to have more fun.  Claude runs to the liquor store with his brothers (a crack up-inducing montage set to Ghost Riders in the Sky), obsesses over the tightness of his abs, daydreams about an idyllic parenthood, tries to find a little peace during a traffic accident, and does the nasty with Ruby on the hood of his Daddy's gas guzzler.

Billy Bob brought his crew back to Arkansas to film DADDY AND THEM, shutting down production early enough each day so that the cast and crew could go bowling after hours.  Look for the busybody church lady who has one line in a scene with Claude and his family at church.  Her name is Rebecca Beatrice Fly, and she is the Aunt Avis from the Widespread Panic video Billy Bob directed at around the same time.  The production was shot in 1999, was released theatrically in a handful of small, Southern test markets, then drop-kicked to home video.

Planeteer Judi has clued us in to the following tale, which Billy Bob has verified as the gospel truth.  After filming a highway accident scene (the money shot of the film's microscopic budget), the crew shopped the film back to the studio in Los Angeles from Little Rock by way of Dallas Texas.  Alas, the film canister was lost in transit.  Just when all looked lost, Billy Bob turned to his one and only hope:  his mother, Virginia.  He asked her to "give us some thoughts" on the possible whereabouts of the missing reel.  Virginia assured him it was at the "second stop," which meant LAX.  Production assistants were dispatched and allowed to search the tarmac where, low and behold, they discovered the reel under a baggage carrier where it had been languishing for four to five days.  Judi also adds that those are really Billy Bob's and Laura Dern's childhood photos shown in Claude and Ruby's home.

Awards (for DADDY AND THEM)
2001 Nashville Independent Film Festival (Audience Choice Award) - 1991 -
4th Place

Relevant Links
IMDb Link
Rave Central page
Rotten Tomatoes review
Kinocite review
John Prine Shrine page

Related Merchandise
The soundtrack (on the MCA label) is out of print, but can likely be found by determined Billy Bob fans.  Check EBay.  We've heard raves about John Prine's contribution to the record, the song he shares with Iris Dement titled "In Spite of Ourselves."  We're happy to report (thanks again, to Planeteer Judi) that the song appears on Prine's CD of the same title.

Ever wonder if that Karl ever got out of the state nervous hospital after whupping that Doyle?  Well, that question is answered in "The Return of Karl," one of the interesting extras found on the DVD of DADDY AND THEM, which also includes some deleted scenes and Billy Bob's ever-entertaining director's commentary in conversation with producers Bruce Heller and Robert Salerno.  At a panel discussion for A SIMPLE PLAN in 1998, Billy Bob remarked that when he showed up dressed to play Karl for that scene, this crew started crying because they missed Karl so much. You can also get the film on VHS.

Photo credit:  © 2002 Miramax Films

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© 2005 by . . . Like the Wind Productions/Lonesome Rogues Design. This page is intended for entertainment and reference purposes only and is not intended to make a profit.  Film commentary reflects the opinions of the webmasters Amélie and Sage and not the opinions of Billy Bob Thornton or his representatives.