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Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 7,713 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 21 critic

Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

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(stories), (screenplay)
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Title: Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lazlo
...
...
...
Harris (as René Auberjonois)
...
Judge Simpson
Danny Goldman ...
Porter
Rafael Campos ...
...
Desk Clerk
Leonard Gaines ...
Super Fan
...
Man #1 (as De Wayne Jessie)
...
Dooley
Jon Shear ...
Billy Kramer (as Jon Matthews)
...
Willins
Quinn K. Redeker ...
Pilot (as Quinn Redeker)
Lisa Taylor ...
Ruthie
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Storyline

The deranged adventures of Gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson and his attorney Oscar Acosta, referred to in the movie as "Laslow". Thompson attempts to cover the Super Bowl and the 1972 Presidential election in his typical drug-crazed state, but is continually and comically sidetracked by his even more twisted friend Laslow. Allegedly based on actual events. Written by John Rumpelein <usviking@imageek.york.cuny.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the twisted legend of Hunter S. Thompson See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Where the Buffalo Roam  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Carl Lazlo is loosely based on 1960s Chicano lawyer Oscar Zeta Acosta. Acosta was briefly Thompson's attorney during the 1970s and is the basis for the character of Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). The title of this movie is an allusion to Acosta's book "Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo". See more »

Goofs

During the courtroom scene, 21 minutes and 5 seconds into the film, Thompson sets down his glass which is almost full. A second later, a close-up on the glass shows it sitting on the floor, empty. All further scenes in the courtroom show the glass once again almost full. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Hi sir, it's Harris from the Post. Can I get you anything sir?
Candidate: How's the family Harris?
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Oh the family, well that's bad news. The screwheads finally came and took my daughter away. Let me ask you a question sir, what is this country doing for the doomed? There are two kinds of people in this country, the doomed and the screwheads. Savage tribal thugs who live off their legal incomes, brow deep out there; no respect for human dignity. They don't know what you and I understand, you know what I ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strictly Background (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Papa Was A Rollin Stone
Performed by The Temptations
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Problems, but not all bad.
9 January 2007 | by (Tucson, AZ) – See all my reviews

Both of the HST films have problems. This film's problem is that it is too "screenwritten" (Lazlo replacing The Brown Buffalo, "Blast" Magazine replacing Rolling Stone, etc.) and lacks the weird surrealism that a drug-fueled observation of American culture at the end of the 1960s deserves, if not requires.

It does play a bit like Caddyshack, as someone else pointed out, and it's hard to get really invested in the characters. And if you love HST as much as I do, you really do want to get into the characters and in to the story, because it's as important as it is funny. Where the Buffalo Roam is, for the most part, silly. It comes off as more a bunch of sketches than anything else. I did like Bill Murray in the part. The problem is the script, more than anything else.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by contrast, does well with the surrealism and depravity but fails to make the full point I think Thompson was trying to get across - the decadence and over-the-top performances (especially of del Toro) are distracting, and really all of this is supposed to be about the death of the American dream, and the end of what was (to some) the best decade on record, or at least the one where people thought, for a time, they could make something of American life. Both movies hint at this but don't go into it enough, in my opinion.

Where the Buffalo Roam captures a little of the sadness and the creeping hopelessness of the early 70s (along with an indication of the hangover awaiting that generation in the 70s), but both movies fall far short of Thompson's books and writing in my opinion.

I was particularly saddened that both movies left out the "We're looking for the American dream" bit at the taco stand, because I think that was important, and the F&L Vegas story seems decontextualized without it (in terms of having a fairly serious (and sad) point under all of the humor and excess).

In any case, both movies are worth a watch but ultimately unsatisfying. Thompson is still best read. I think a good film about HST can be made, but the right person needs to be at the helm.

Richard Linklater or John Sayles, perhaps...someone who isn't going to miss the deeper substance underlying and buttressing the humor. That being said, there are far worse movies you could be watching than either.

And like Thompson, it still hasn't gotten weird enough for me.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
this versus fear and loathing d-22
Better than fear and loathing - better than Depp wu_cube
sexuality or nudity? mutedempathy
Thompson didn't like it, why should i even bother to see it? Yea-Bo
Dennis Hopper as HST? jong19822004
Does Anyone Understand? Heckyesyoudo
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