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What Happened to Kerouac? (1986)

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(works "On the Road", "Visions of Cody", "Desolation Angels", "Mexico City Blues" and "Dr. Sax and others")
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Title: What Happened to Kerouac? (1986)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Corso ...
Jan Kerouac ...
Herbert Huncke ...
Fran Landesman ...
William F. Buckley ...
Himself (archive footage)
Ed Sanders ...
Himself (archive footage)
Edie Kerouac Parker ...
Himself (as William Burroughs)
Michael McClure ...
John Clellon Holmes ...
Lawrence Ferlinghetti ...
Ann Charters ...
Gary Snyder ...
Neal Cassady ...
Himself (archive footage)


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An investigation of the king of the Beat Generation.





Release Date:

16 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Happened to Kerouac?  »

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New York theatrical run 5/23/86; San Francisco 7/11/86. See more »


References Pépé le Moko (1937) See more »

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26 September 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I was in the US in 1984 when I got wind of a party Allen Ginsberg was planning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of 'On The Road'. Allen was, at that time the head of the Jack Kerouac School Of Disembodied Poets at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado under the spiritual guidance of Chogyam Trungpa. I realized that this might well be the last occasion that what remained of the Beat Generation would be in the same place at the same time. In LA I enlisted the help of poet/journalist Lewis McAdams to pull together a little cash and a sympathetic crew to go and film the party. This we did. I was the Producer, Lewis conducted the interviews. After the shoot, Lewis and I collaborated on the script, copies of which I still have, sharing the credit. Try as we may,we were unable to raise the $100,000 to finish what we had started. Despite having all the interviews in the can, a robust script and Lionsgate Films as Executive Producer we couldn't raise a dime. That's how it was when I and my wife left for Europe. I was contacted by Richard Lerner, the DOP on the shoot. His father had died and left him a lot of money and he wanted to finish the Kerouac film. He and Lewis were going to do it themselves and I was not wanted. As Producer I had collected all the releases to the interviews which I sold to him. It's never pleasant when one's own idea and work is usurped by others but it happens in our industry. The boys were good enough to give me a credit buried in a long list as an Associate Producer. No mention of being the original Producer and co writer. Richard and Lewis were Kerouac sycophants. I think the movie would have been the better for my less sanctimonious, English curiosity.

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