HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Elegy for a Southern Boy in ‘Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Glen Campbell, the singer, actor and personality, is ingrained into a certain late 1960s/early ‘70s ethos. His sunny disposition and clean pop music rhetoric crossed over from country to the mainstream, and in that other era he could seriously call his television show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.” Today, he fights a losing battle against Alzheimer’s Disease in the emotional documentary, “Glen Campbell, I’ll Be Me.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The title refers to an off-handed remark that Campbell makes, when he watching old home movies about his life. This is a memory test to exercise the shrinking portions of his brains due to the degenerative disease, and when Campbell assigns roles to the people in the films, he concludes “I’ll be me.” The film is often a frustrating document about Campbell’s journey, as the camera is privy to the most intimate sadnesses in living with the insidious disease. We are witnesses to Glen Campbell’s step-by-step path to the good night, and despite all the privilege of his success, it cannot be reversed.

The Southern boy from Delight, Arkansas, made good in several ways during his show business career. He was one of the most sought after “sessions” men – backup instrumental and vocalist to the stars – because of his virtuoso guitar riffs and plain speaking singing voice. After stints with The Beach Boys, among other work, he spun off as a solo act, which began a string of hits including “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Gentle on My Mind,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston” and his signature “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease comes early in the documentary. It’s right before his last album is to be released, because his wife Kim and daughter/band mate Ashley realized that sometime was amiss. The rest of the film documents two treks – the one of Glen Campbell’s farewell tour in 2011-12 and that of his slide into the recesses of his disease.

”Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” continues its limited release in Chicago on November 7th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Glen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Ashley Campbell, and appearances by Jay Leno, Paul McCartney, Johnny Carson, Bruce Springsteen, Brad Paisey, Keith Urban, Jimmy Webb and Sheryl Crow. Directed by James Keach. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”

Glen Campbell
Then and Now in ‘Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me’
Photo credit: Area 23a

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Speech & Debate (stage play)

    CHICAGO – “Speech & Debate,” the latest production from the mighty Brown Paper Box Company, continues their tradition of thinking outside that “box” in presenting storefront theater that makes a statement and a difference. “Speech” goes inside America by showcasing the outsiders… those who create art because they can’t get it right in real life. This non-equity Chicago stage play premiere is finely tuned and wonderfully acted, and runs through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.


HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter


HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions