Coal Miners Daughter

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Coal Miners Daughter

Post by moonshadow »

One of my favorite movies is Coal Miners Daughter. I've probably watched in a hundred times over the years. Today I gave it another viewing having recently acquired a DVD version of it (since my VCR seems to be on the fritz). There is a segment of the movie where Loretta Lynn and her husband move to Custer Washington (near the Canadian border). They live there for a few years while Loretta gets her signing career jump started in the PNW.

Being somewhat of a traveled guy, I noticed something I hadn't noticed before in previous showings of the film. First, the scenes that were shot when they presumably lived in Custer could not have been actually filmed in Washington State. I could tell right off the bat that the foliage, trees, and landscape is not typical for the area. If I didn't know any better I would have guessed they actually filmed the entire movie in different parts of the Appalachian mountains. A quick Google search revealed I was correct!

In fact, most of the movie was shot in far eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia, the Webb's family homestead was actually filmed not far from where we used to live.

This is NOT a PNW landscape...

There is another anomaly I picked up on in the movie that seems a little far fetched.

When Loretta's singing starts to gain traction, Oliver "Mooney" (her husband) is seen skipping a nights sleep as he pulls an all-nighter on the typewritter. He goes in to work anyway. When Loretta offers to make him some breakfast he refuses saying he doesn't have the time, adding that when he gets home they have a gig in Spokane to get to that night.


Hardly. I googled that distance, and even in the modern era, that's at least a five hour drive. I can imagine how long it would have take during the time this was said to have taken place, which I imagine would have been a few decades before the completion of the I90.

Still a good movie though.
The old hillbilly from the coal fields of the Appalachian mountains currently living like there's no tomorrow on the west coast.
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Re: Coal Miners Daughter

Post by Faldaguy »

Good eye Moon for a newbie to the PNW! :P Aside from the necessity to suspend disbelief for enjoying much popular entertainment, the observation reminds me a a similar event in our lives, spawned by an Easterner with no concept of distances in the West. In short, we were host/driver for a man from New England making an appearance in Vancouver, B.C. in the early 70's. The east coast office wanted him meet, have lunch with the Doukhobors in Grand Forks, B.C (about due north of Spokane, after a breakfast meet in Vancouver. This was typically an 8-10 hour drive at that time -- but New Englanders who commonly cross 3, 4 or even 5 State lines easily in a few hours did not grasp the concept that anything within a Province could be more than a couple hours away! We did solve the problem with a volunteer who had a private plane -- got him and my wife there, for lunch--I arrived after dinner!
There are a few films and documentaries on Doukhobors, including the Son's of Freedom, for insights into a little known, but fascinating, religious sect from the old Soviet Union -- vegetarian pacifists with guns and naked protests of government constraints.... As colorful, but as well known as Lorretta Lynn -- 'tis hard to imagine anyone who doesn't know a few lines from the Coal Miner's daughter!.
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