Remember When George Strait Made His Movie Debut?
Most country fans have seen George Strait's performance in the classic film Pure Country, which marked his first-ever starring role on the big screen. But few fans know that Strait made his silver-screen debut a decade earlier, in a bit role in a little-known action film that has been almost completely forgotten.
Strait was only one year into his now-iconic recording career when he accepted a cameo role in a purely B-level action film titled The Soldier, which starred future Wiseguy star Ken Wahl. The film's plot — such as it is — revolves around a Cold War-era story that's so convoluted and fanciful that it makes Die Hard look like gritty realism, and it's not the kind of project that anyone involved would list in the upper reaches of their resume.
But The Soldier does feature an appearance by a young Strait, who performs his first No. 1 hit, "Fool-Hearted Memory," with his band in the background during a scene in a honky-tonk that's shoehorned into the film.
Watch Strait and his band mime to the studio recording of the song in the clip below, which centers around a barroom brawl after a confrontation, which leads to — yes, we're being serious — a guy getting dumped in a mud-wrestling pit.
According to RolandNote.com, The Soldier was released in limited theaters on Aug. 20, 1982. It was quickly forgotten, and ten years would pass before Strait took on another film role, taking the starring role in Pure Country, in which he played a disillusioned country singer who walks away from his career at the height of his success.
Though that film retains a popular following among country fans, he's done very little acting in the years since then, and in fact, Pure Country remains Strait's only starring role. He subsequently appeared as himself in Grand Champion in 2002, and in 2010 he appeared as himself in a sequel to Pure Country, titled Pure Country 2: The Gift, which centered around a young singer trying to make it in Nashville.