Playing roles with which they're well familiar, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson star as a pair of country & western singer-songwriters. One-time partners Doc Jenkins (Nelson) and Blackie Buck (Kristofferson) have gone their separate ways, with the former becoming the king of country music while the latter continues to rebel against record industry conventions, still an inveterate carouser. Estranged from his wife (Melinda Dillon) and daughter (Dotson), Doc takes on a talented protege (Lesley Ann Warren) who soon has her own problems, namely an overindulgence in booze and drugs. While trying to get her on the right track and reconcile with his family, Doc also has to deal with a sleazy publisher (Richard C. Sarafian). A cut above most films that have attempted to portray the world of country & western music, SONGWRITER was directed by the immensely gifted Alan Rudolph (TROUBLE IN MIND; THE MODERNS), who came to the project after Steve Rash had begun it. The movie belongs to Nelson, who displays a natural screen charm, but Rip Torn also contributes an excellent performance as a good ol' boy concert promoter.