End Of The Line

Frank Capra comes to the Ozarks might serve as a loose description of this quirky and watchable comedy, whose heart and accents are in the right place; it’s a first feature by Arkansan Jay Russell. The Southland Railroad is shifting over to air freight, and a couple of old-time railroaders in Clifford, Arkansas (Wilford Brimley and Levon Helm), decide to steal a train and take it to Chicago to discuss the matter with Southland’s chairman of the board (Henderson Forsythe). Bob Balaban is the company’s president; Barbara Barrie, Mary Steenburgen (who doubles as executive producer), and Holly Hunter are the womenfolk back in Clifford; and Kevin Bacon and Michael Beach are younger railroad workers who double as bookiesall of whom help to keep this pleasant, despite Andy Summers’s terrible music score and a rosy-eyed finale that even beats Capra at wishful thinking (1988). (JR)

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