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Pure Country

Pure Country is a 1992 American dramatic musical Western film directed by Christopher Cain and starring George Strait in his acting debut, with Lesley Ann Warren, Isabel Glasser and Kyle Chandler. The film was considered a box office bomb, but it grossed over $15 million against a $10 million budget, and the soundtrack was a critical success and, to date, is Strait's best selling album. It was followed by two direct-to-video sequels, Pure Country 2: The Gift (2010) and Pure Country: Pure Heart (2017).

Plot

The film begins with various shots of the audience chanting "Dusty!", which is repeated throughout. Meanwhile, the band begins, as the smoke and the lights are turned on, we see Wyatt "Dusty" Chandler (George Strait) entering the stage, and performing "Heartland", "Baby Your Baby", and a shortened version of "Where the Sidewalk Ends". Dusty feels that his elaborate stage show is overwhelming his music, a suspicion confirmed one night when he purposely omits several bars of a chart-topping hit, "Where the Sidewalk Ends". When his fans don't even notice, Dusty cuts the performance short. After the concert, Dusty has a conversation with his drummer, and best friend, Earl. They reminisce on when they were kids, a time much simpler. Without telling his manager, Lula (Lesley Ann Warren), he decides to "take a walk", but does not say exactly where he is going or for how long. Dusty was waiting for his truck, and he hitches a ride. After shaving his beard and cutting off his ponytail, Dusty heads for the small farm town where he grew up, visiting his wise old grandmother (Molly McClure). Later that day, he visits a bar where he and Earl played prior to making it big. That evening, Dusty hangs around for some relaxation and discovers Harley Tucker (Isabel Glasser) dancing and smiling at Dusty. Al (Mark Walters), Harley's drunk and rugged friend, get into an argument in the parking lot over Dusty, who neither have ever seen or met. Dusty, while drunk, comes to assist Harley with Al, who won't stop bothering her. Al punches Dusty and he falls to the ground. Harley brings him home, a reward for defending her honor. While Dusty is enjoying his new freedom, his concert in Shreveport was cancelled. Meanwhile, Buddy Jackson (Kyle Chandler) comes on stage, disguised as Dusty himself, and lip-syncing to a recording of Dusty. Covered by lights and smoke the gimmick works. Buddy wore the same clothes from the beginning of the film. Meanwhile, Dusty stays on at the ranch, paying room and board and taking roping lessons, all the while earning the respect of Harley's father, Ernest (Rory Calhoun, in his final film appearance). Ernest confides in Dusty that he is forced to slowly sell pieces of the ranch. Harley is determined to save the struggling spread with victory in a Las Vegas rodeo.