This article is taken from interviews Dolly and Sly gave during the filming of the movie. Reviews are taken from press clippings of the time
Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone
Directed by Bob Clark. Rhinestone is a raucous comedy based on the 1975 Glen Campbell hit, Rhinestone Cowboy. These pages feature scenes from the film in which Dolly Parton plays the resident singer of a rough and tough New York club known as The Rhinestone. During an argument she bets her obnoxious boss, played by Ron Leibman, that she can take anyone and turn them in to a singer capable of surviving an evening with the club’s notoriously rowdy patrons. Sylvester Stallone is the happy-go-lucky cab driver who becomes the object of their bet.
THE CRITICS SAID!
The critics were not kind at all about this movie, although Dolly herself garnered a few good comments. Reviewers unfortunately approached the film as a Stallone vehicle and Rhinestone was no action movie. Stallone had a massive following at the time and his name alone, it was hoped, would have ensured a hit.
A good, sustained comedy is hard to find these days and that’s exactly what Rhinestone is, a wholesome, knockabout comedy suitable for family viewing.
Country music fans might be wary because of what they have read in various country magazines which criticizes the film for poking fun at the music. True, it does poke fun at certain aspects of the music and people involved in it, but certainly not in the manner in which it was done.
Rhinestone will do more to promote country music than practically any other country related film currently available on video, simply because it is not deadly serious, but contains elements which are sure to appeal to a much wider audience than just country music fans and in the process, whether they realise it or not, many viewers are going to be exposed to a large chunk of country music slipped in as a integral part of the story. My guess is that they will enjoy it and I cannot think of a more suitable vehicle for promoting the music.
As to the story itself, it has all the ingredients which go towards making an enjoyable film. Nick Martinelli (Stallone) is a new York taxi driver. He’s a tough and salty and hates ‘hillbilly, hick music’. Jake Ferris (Dolly) is contracted to Freddy the greasy, oily owner of the ‘Rhinestone’. She bets him that she can turn any average, normal person into a country singer, capable of standing up on stage before the hyper critical audience of the Rhinestone and performing one song without getting booed off. Freddy accepts the bet, If Jake wins she walks free from her contract, or if she fails, a further five years added to it contract, plus a night spent with Freddy.
Naturally Freddy selects Nick, a tone deaf Rock and Roller who hates everything about country music and the people involved in it. How Jake handles the situation, and how Nick reacts is what the films all about and once the deal is struck and the race against time begins, the fun is really on.
Interviewed immediately after the filming of Rhinestone, Dolly was quoted as saying “I want people to leave the cinema feeling they have seen two people they really like, two people who entertained them with a story they enjoyed, a story that makes folks forget their troubles. Thats why Sly and I worked so hard, to make people leave the cinema feeling good.”
Whatever some stuff critics may think, I’m sure many, many other views will agree that she has succeeded admirably.
THE DOLLY MIXTURES OF SUPERSTARDOM
Happily married and feeling better than ever after a series of operations, Rhinestone star Dolly Parton has a lot more to sing about than just her music.
Dolly Parton with veteran actor Richard Fansworth in Rhinestone
Interviewed on the set of Rhinestone this is what Miss Parton had to say…….
“I never thought I was a woman of mystery,” giggles Dolly Parton, upon being told there are many unanswered questions about the unwigged superstar. “When I was a kid, I thought life was too simple and plain, I thought at least the clothes and wigs would make it flashy and colourful. Now I find I don’t have to do anything and people think I’m exciting or mysterious. That’s the way I like it to be. That’s why I don’t give too many answers, though I don’t mind the questions.”
Questions are resurfacing, for Parton is bigger than ever. Her latest album is a hit, including the single Potential New Boy friend. Her last duet, with Kenny Rogers, Islands in the Stream, was a huge success and since her bouts with hospitals and “female troubles,” as she puts it, she has a third movie due, pairing her with Sylvester Stallone. Time for a look at the new ever glittering dolly.
Q: How did The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas affect your more conservative fans?
A: Well, a lotta people, myself included, were shocked. It turned out to be more adult than I thought. Some religious folk were offended. But Rhinestone is for everybody.
Q: You’ve written 14 songs for the film. Was it fun?
A: It was fun writing and fun making the movie. I got to help train Sly to become a country singer. It’s his debut and he’s damned good!
Q: What is the film’s plot, basically?
A: I’m a country singer - of course. And I bet guy I can turn the first stranger into a real singer. I deliver too.
Q: Who’s your preferred leading man Sly or Burt Reynolds?
A: Now what lady would say? They’re both just good old boys, and real pros.
Q: Your first two films made $100 million each. What about this one are you just plain lucky?
A: Fact is, it helps to have big co-stars like Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin and the rest. I think this’ll be big. People like Sly and they like me. The combinations pretty hard to resist, If I do say so myself.
Q: Now you’re planning a T.V series?
A: Yeah, its exciting, its sorta country, sorta city, with comedy and spangles and all. Not too adult, but fun for the parents, too.
Q: What comes first in your career?
A: The music, writing it and singing it, that’s always first.
Q: Your sister Frieda has radically altered her singing image……..
A: Yeah, now she’s doing heavy rock, and she looks like Carly Simon, only blonde. Frieda’s a feisty gal, and I know she’ll get what she
Q: What about your other sister who played your role in the nine to five series?
A: Rachel’s doing just fine, She’s got a great marriage, and you will see more of her, the whole clans talented.
Q: It seems you are due for tattoo’s soon?
A: Yeah, on my belly, because I have some celluloid scars there from operating. And I want em to cover it with a lacy kinda tattoo, sorta like a corset, real fine and pretty, not like a regular tattoo at all.
Q: How did you get those scars?
A: Just …………happened, from operating.
Q: Your well publicized hospital stays and recent operations made people wonder about your health…………
A: I got the most wonderful letters, there’s a lot of loving and concerned people out there. But the media was jumping to conclusions.
Q: The cancer rumours must have been upsetting.
A: Believe me the whole thing was upsetting, but it’s behind me now, and I feel better than ever. I’ve also slimmed down, for looks and for my health.
Q: Its surprising you would tamper with that beloved figure.
A: Well, some things don’t change
Q: Would you ever consider nudity?
A: Sure….In the shower!
Q; You’ve been offered in excess of $1 million to appear nude in various men’s magazines.
A: No amount of money could make that come to pass.
Q: Apart from your operations you say little about your marriage.
A: Well, its like a rock for me, and Carl’s always there and he don’t like publicity. So I don’t say anything, but he’s a big part of my life, especially when I was recuperating.
Q: Recently you had an encounter with a male stripper?
A: I thought it was a cop. He was dressed like one. It was here on the set of Rhinestone, where it happened. A celebration and I figured oh no he’s gonna give me a ticket. But then he comes up and starts throwing his clothes off! I didn’t know what to do, but it was fun watching, even though I was blushing so hard.
Q: What was your parting line when he left, clothes in hand?
A: Well the crew was still laughing so hard, I doubt they heard me. But I said to him, ‘Satan, get thee behind me and meet me in the bus!’
Q: Are you a sex symbol or the real thing?
A: Honey, ain’t no way all this ain’t real.
Q: Do you mind that you may never play more sophisticated roles?
A: Oh I’ve been offered voice lessons, so’s I can talk different. But that’s crazy. I am who I am. And the public sure accept it. Besides I chose who I am, so I’m not stuck with anything.
Q: You had a lot of artistic control in Rhinestone, do you hope someday to direct your own films?
A: I think eventually it will happen’ cause I know more than most of the men I work with!
Sylvester Stallone, plays a cab - driver enticed by Dolly Parton into the glittering showbiz world of Rhinestone.
“I always look forward to challenges“, says Sylvester Stallone, a man who puts his money where is boast is. Sly is currently the busiest man in Hollywood. The director, writer and star recently added songbird to his list of achievements by making his singing debut, country style, in Rhinestone. Doing a few Dolly Parton tunes, including a couple of duets with his co-star.
“I play a guy whom Dolly says she can make a star, right off the street, And she does. Dolly’s proud of my singing. Me to, as a matter of fact. Doing Rhinestone was a real kick. Dolly’s a great gal, I think the publics gonna love this movie. Like their already saying, ‘this flick is top heavy with talent man!’” He laughs, referring to the bust and the biceps. Here the easy going superstar takes a few moments out of filming to answer a couple of questions.
Q: Was there a romantic spark between you and Dolly?
A: Sure, in front of the cameras, where it belongs. Each of us is married but not in the Hollywood sense of the word ‘married’.
Q: Rhinestone is the first film to feature you with a strong leading lady. Will you work with more female superstar?
A: I’d like to, I think the public has certain casting ideas in mind. Some might be impractical. You’d have to cook up quiet a story to put me and Jane Fonda in the same picture. I mean, we play the kind of characters that don’t mix in real life. I admire the lady, and I’d like to work with her.