Beat Legend William S. Burroughs visited the set one day, and wrote about it in 'Rolling Stone' magazine, feeling "the past hung in the air" due to the realism in the film. When sitting with Nick Nolte who played Neal, Burroughs "felt Neal sitting there in his cheap 1950s suit with the sleeves pulled up." (source: 'Literary Outlaw - The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs'.) See more »
Cassady would have liked Nolte's interpretation of himself!
Not exactly a biopic but rather a potpourri loosely based on Carloyn Cassady's memoires and Jack Kerouac's autobiographical novel 'OnThe Road'. A tad too neat and tidy for me, and I did miss many of the very specific jazzy references and descriptions in the book as soundtrack. And that's not pardonable! On the other hand, they added some soundtrack which was not fitting at all. Shame. Usually a great actress, Sissy Spacek was less impressive as a figure of the so called 'Beat Generation'. She seemed to me too bourgeois and not quite in character. I haven't read Caroly's memories though and in Jack's book she's one of the many important but rather peripheral characters.
However! having had cast Nick Nolte as Neal Cassady and John Heard as Jack Kerouac was a bullseye in my opinion. I imagined the two lads exactly this way whilst reading the book. Great interpretations and chemistry. Gorgeous cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs, but maybe I'm being too patriotic :-) Despite all my criticism, I definitely recommend it to those who read the book, you'll pick up the references with a smile.
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