20 Years Ago – Ernest Borgnine Makes a Voyage of Discovery Across America

Back in 1995, filmmaker Jeff Krulik (HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT, LED ZEPPELIN PLAYED HERE) took his camera crew on the road with legendary actor Ernest Borgnine and his son Cris as they toured around the country in Borgnine’s bus the Sunbum. The idea was that the combination of Borgnine’s reminiscences and observations and his encounters with folks on the road could make for a good TV series. It never took off as a show – though I would have watched it every night – but the footage from the initial shoot is online thanks to Krulik.

This 50 minute cut was released as a straight-to-VHS documentary in 1996 as ERNEST BORGNINE ON THE BUS. I bought my copy at Wal-Mart and have treasured it for years.

But there’s even more out-take footage thankfully. Watching this kind of long shot kind of makes me think of how much fun it would be to just have a long, aimless, friendly conversation with Borgnine. He riffs on funny town names, points out bits of scenery, toots his horn and talks about his grandkids. Some people will find this dull. It takes all kinds, I guess.

Here Borgnine looks for a Dairy Queen and meets some nice people.

Many, many more videos of Ernest Borgnine being great are here on Krulik’s YouTube channel.