I love this movie just for the music. This is a modern musical which has all the bluegrass music. It makes me want to dance. I was trying this yesterday and Sheri said it looked strange, but the music is my blood and I will keep trying.
Three escaped convicts can do quite a lot while they are on the run. Everett, Pete and Delmar played by George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson escape from the chain gang and are after a pot of gold which is due to be inundated by water in a few days for the building of a new dam. However the law is after them, and they have many close calls. It is only later that we learn there is no money, but Everett has convinced the others to escape so he can keep his ex wife (Holly Hunter) from marrying another man. He was chained to the other two, so they had to come with him.
They meet upon another man with his guitar, and give him a ride. Tommy Johnson (Chris Thomas King) is headed to a radio station to sing into a can for money. They three join him, and together they become the Soggy Bottom Boys and record a song. The song becomes very popular on the radio, but no one knows who the boys are. A music producer is after them to sign them to a contract. They run into a bank robber, George Nelson (Michael Baldalucco) who is making a name, and not worried about the money. He leaves the three with a car and cash. They also run into a bible salesman (John Goodman) who mugs them and takes the money and car. They also come upon a Ku Klux Klan revival and intended lynching of Tommy Johnson. They rescue Tommy, but the Imperial Wizard is after them. Turns out he is running for governor and winning the election.
Things change for our escapees when they sing at a large function in an effort for Everett to get close to his ex. The governor hears them sing, as does the Imperial Wizard, who grabs the microphone and calls them out, revealing his membership in the Klan. He is booed off the stage, but the governor strikes and pardons the boys and recruits them for his support. With newfound notoriety, his ex agrees to remarry him, but only with the same ring they married before, which is back at their homestead. Our boys are on the rode again, and overtaken by the prison boss, who hasn't heard about the pardon, nor does he care. A fine hanging is in order. Only the flood of water from the new dam can rescue them, and the ring is actually found. But is it the right ring?
Everett at one point expresses to Delmar, "woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man."
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