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The Winding Stream

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Beth Harrington

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About the Movie

This is the story of the family at the heart of American roots music - The Carters and the Cashes. Part history, part family saga, the film highlights a who's who of country music including Johnny Cash, George Jones, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and more.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 8
  • Fresh: 8
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 8.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Rhythmically blending vintage recordings and live performances, "The Winding Stream" exudes a quirky warmth that counters its PBS-pledge-drive aura. – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, Dec 15, 2015

Fresh: The film stands as a reminder of how much it can mean just to listen. – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, Dec 15, 2015

Fresh: There is no need to be a country music buff to enjoy this charming slice of Americana, though you may need a scorecard to keep track of all of the relatives who are involved in this story. – David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, Apr 21, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Not just for country music fans!

A fascinating and emotional film about the origins of country music and one family's legacy in it. I didn't know much about the original Carter Family but checked this out to see one of Johnny Cash's final interviews. I was blown away by how much influence the Carters have had not only on country but all contemporary music. You don't have to be a country fan to love this film.

Giants of American Music

I have known about the Carter Family for many years even though their music was not part of my Southern California musical culture, at least as far as I knew. They have been a major influence on pretty much all popular music in America and much of Europe for that matter. Anybody who has tried to learn fingerpicking on the guitar, has studied Mother Maybelle, whether they know her or not.

I read about "The Winding Stream" in a guitar magazine quite a while ago. I have finally seen it and it was wonderful!

The Family's size and complex relationships have always been a mystery to me. Finally the full story is told in a loving and appreciative way. I learned a lot about this great group of people. I feel that I finally know who A. P. Carter really was. A great man with very human flaws and very great love. Sara Carter with the voice of America's heart. And the great survivor, Mother Maybelle. There are so many top class musicians speaking and performing in this film, and every one of them admitting their own origins in the music and playing of the Carters. There were sequences of Chet Atkins, Pete Seeger, Hank Williams, and others playing BACKUP to Mother Maybelle!

I can't rate this film highly enough. "The Winding Stream" is a mandatory watch for any American popular music lover! It is FABULOUS!