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Chappaqua (1966)

 -  Drama  -  27 March 1967 (Sweden)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 400 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 18 critic

Semi-autobiographical story of Conrad Rooks, who travels to France to undergo a drug-withdrawal cure. Flashbacks to the beginings of psychedelia in San Fran.

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Title: Chappaqua (1966)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Benoit
Conrad Rooks ...
Russel Harwick
...
Opium Jones
...
Messiah
...
Sun God
Paula Pritchett ...
Water Woman
Ornette Coleman ...
Peyote Eater
...
The Guru
Moondog ...
The Prophet
Jill Lator ...
Sacrificed One
John Esam ...
The Connection
Ed Sanders ...
The Fugs
Rita Renoir
Penny Brown
Jacques Seiler
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Storyline

Semi-autobiographical story of Conrad Rooks, who travels to France to undergo a drug-withdrawal cure. Flashbacks to the beginings of psychedelia in San Fran. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

27 March 1967 (Sweden)  »

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Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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First film of Hervé Villechaize. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not the most entertaining film ever made, but interesting and unique
14 August 2007 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

"Chappaqua" is definitely not for all tastes. I can see many viewers being bored by this and I really can't blame them. Its an incoherent and often self-indulgent underground film about various forms of drug addictions. However, if you're a fan of the Beat Generation (in particular William S. Burroughs), you'll enjoy this more psychedelic take on their material. Several major participants from the movement even appear in cameos, such as Burroughs and Ginsberg. The cast reads like a who's-who of the pre-Woodstock Greenwich Village scene.

The direction by auteur Conrad Rooks is quite innovative, making the film unique. His use of various low-budget psychedelic trip sequences with subsequent withdrawals makes a surrealistic and even frightening portrait of the effects of drugs on the individual. Unfortunately, his acting in the lead leaves a lot to be desired. Apparently the film is based around his own experiences, which makes his lead performance even more shameful since hes essentially playing himself. However, a typically strong performance from Jean-Louis Barrault balances out this shortcoming.

The most intriguing aspect of the film, in addition to the low-budget sense of surrealism, was the photography of many vintage spots which no longer exist. The trip down Times Square in New York past the various grindhouse theaters was really neat as was the various Beat performances (including the legendary Fugs). "Chappaqua" is a film with limited appeal and is often self-indulgent, but I was captivated by a lot of it. A failure perhaps, but an interesting one nonetheless. (6/10)


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