Billy Bob Thornton as Claude Montgomery
Laura Dern as Ruby Montgomery
Diane Ladd as Jewel
Kelly Preston as Rose
Andy Griffith as O.T. Montgomery
Sandra Seacat as Elbe
John Prine as Alvin
Jeff Bailey as J.C.
Jim Varney as Hazel Montgomery
Brenda Blethyn as Julia Montgomery
Tuesday Knight as Billy
Ben Affleck as Lawrence Bowen
Jamie Lee Curtis as Elaine Bowen
Walt Goggins as Tommy Christian
Joe McCrackin as Hazel’s Lawyer
Behind The Scenes Special
Commentary With Writer/Director Billy Bob Thornton, Co-Producer Bruce Heller and Producer Robert Salerno
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
The Return of Carl
Widescreen (1.85:1) Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 102 Minutes
This film was originally released in 2001.
Claude Montgomery is married to Ruby, the love of his life. This white trash couple truly loves each other, but they constantly fight over old flames, family, money, etc. When Claude’s Uncle Hazel is arrested for armed robbery, he must return to Arkansas with Ruby to help out. Thus this dysfunctional redneck clan must again face each other and deal with their eccentricities, grudges, and addictions. Somehow through it all, though, Ruby and Claude are able to sort through their problems.
Daddy & Them is rated R for strong language.
Billy Bob Thornton wrote and directed this film about white trash relationships. That’s a good thing or a bad thing depending on your point of view. For me, it was a bad thing. Daddy & Them is an utter waste of time in my opinion. On my list of things I find entertaining, redneck angst is pretty low in the rankings. If you like movies where rural Arkansas natives fight, bicker about who had sex with whom, and run into trouble with the law, then this is right up your alley. If not, stay far away.
Daddy & Them is agonizingly slowly paced. Watching it seemed like an eternity. The only thing the film had going for it was the fantastic cast, yet even they can’t save it. Billy Bob must have called in a ton of favors to round up Laura Dern, Kelly Preston, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Affleck, and a ton of other actors. You’ll even see Andy Griffith and the late Jim Varney in the film. However, not a single one of them is likable. Without a character to identify with, it makes the film truly tedious to watch.
Billy Bob also wrote the script for this film, but it didn’t seem like much work for him. Every other word in the film is “f**k”. Take that word out of the script and I bet you get half the page count he started out with. Unfortunately, 90% of the movie features Claude and Ruby fighting over old boyfriends or girlfriends the other “f***ed”, so you’re subjected to that language a lot. It’s as if he couldn’t think of anything more creative to say. Or maybe that’s just how he believes all rednecks talk.
Anyway, I really hated this movie. If I wanted to see rednecks in torment I’ll watch Jerry Springer.
Behind The Scenes Special This is your typical behind the scenes video on the making of the movie. It’s extremely short at 4 minutes long, but it features your typical interviews with cast and crew. There’s not a lot of behind the scenes footage, though. It seems more like a promotional video than something to give you insight on how the movie was made.
Commentary With Writer/Director Billy Bob Thornton, Co-Producer Bruce Heller and Producer Robert Salerno Thornton takes the lead on this commentary. As the writer, director, and star, he has quite a bit to say about the movie. It becomes apparent very quickly that this film is semi-autobiographical. He talks about how many of the scenes were inspired by his real life experiences. You get a fair amount of insight from him on the making of the movie.
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary There are five deleted scenes included on this DVD, all with commentary from Thornton. Most are extended versions of scenes already in the film. One features Claude drooling over food in a restaurant when he’s out of money. Another is an extended version of the scene in the church as the preacher does announcements. The third one shows the family visiting Jim Varney’s character in jail. Each of these is 3 to 4 minutes long and if you weren’t impressed by the movie, you won’t care about the deleted scenes.
The Return of Carl In this 4 minute joke sequence, Billy Bob Thornton plays an entire scene from the film as Carl, his character from Sling Blade. The joke runs a bit long, especially if you haven’t seen the film, but it is amusing to see the other actors try and keep a straight face as they ad lib the scene.
The Bottom Line:
This film is only for fans of Billy Bob Thornton. Everyone else should approach it with extreme caution.