"World War II has just ended, and young Everett Laidlaw who had joined the battle overseas to avoid jail for Moonshining, returns home and reunites with his kin. But surviving the war will soon seem like a cakewalk for Everett as he deals with his wacky family and struggles with coming of age in small-town America" is how Dixie Lanes was described.
The above description sounded like this would be a pretty decent movie and since I'm a fan of Hoyt Axton I was anxious to see it; however, there were so many things wrong with Dixie Lanes that I really don't know where to begin. The main problem lies in the lack of focus on any certain plot and/or a decision as to what type of movie was being made. Somewhere near the halfway point of Dixie Lanes a plot finally emerged; but in the meantime the movie had meandered from one idea to another while trying to decide if it was a madcap 40s movie, a family drama, or a mystery. I'm not saying it would be impossible to combine all of those elements, but they each seem to be treated as a separate entity and none ever converged with any other. I can only guess the lack of focus in the movie was due to an inexperienced director, this was his first movie (and he only directed one more movie eight years later).
Hoyt Axton, whose own likability shone through his character, did a fine job with the role he was given. Even though the box cover makes it appear that Hoyt and Karen Black are the stars of the movie, the movie mainly revolves around his son, Everett (Christopher Rydell). A brief footnote to Dixie Lanes - although not a musician, but only related to one, Bruce Springsteen's sister Pamela plays Rydell's love interest in Dixie Lanes and appears topless in one scene.