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The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  20 June 1997 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,618 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 12 critic

Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence.... See full summary »

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(as Stephen T. Kay)

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(letter),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ben
...
Lewis
...
Joan
...
Jerry
...
Lizzy
...
Rosie Trickle
...
Mary Greenway
Pat McNamara ...
Father Fletcher
...
Nurse Waring
...
Mrs. Greenway (as Christine Rose)
Meadow Sisto ...
Sarah
...
Jeananne
...
Vicky
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Storyline

Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence. When his girlfriend, Joan, tries to kill herself he gets scared and runs away. But when Joan reappears will he take the chance at that happiness, or will he turn his back on it? Written by Katie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A love story with consequences See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elämän harhapolut  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,836 (USA) (20 June 1997)

Gross:

$12,836 (USA) (20 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The letter this movie is based on was referred to by its author Neal Cassady and its recipient Jack Kerouac as "the Joan Anderson letter" (even though the only extant fragment more prominently and dramatically dealt with a different girlfriend of Neal's at the time nicknamed Cherry Mary). This letter, written in Dec. 1950 about events in Cassady's life from the summer thru Christmas of 1945, was *lost* c. 1954/55. But before that happened a 5,000 word fragment (which this movie is based on) had been copied (retyped) likely by Kerouac himself, and was subsequently published in 1964 in a small S.F. literary magazine called "Notes From Underground," then again later in Cassady's posthumous autobiography "The First Third" (beginning "To have seen a specter isn't everything ..."). The entire 16,000 word letter by Cassady - which Kerouac had praised as a turning point in his approach to writing - was never seen again after 1955 - and consequently became something of a Holy Grail in the Beat world. Miraculously, in 2012, the entire letter was found after nearly 60 years (!) ... in old boxes that had been stored since being rescued from the Sausalito publisher Golden Goose's garbage when it folded in 1955. It's set for auction on Dec. 17th, 2014. See more »

Goofs

The epilogue notes that Neal Cassady died in 1968 at the age of 42. In actuality, he died four days before his 42nd birthday. See more »

Quotes

Harry: Sometimes a little distraction's ... a good thing.
See more »

Soundtracks

Shaw 'Nuff'
Written by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
Performed by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie
Courtesy of Jazz Classics Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Beat
7 July 2005 | by (Orlando, Florida, USA) – See all my reviews

The Last Time is a factual look into the life of the Beat Generation's Neal Cassady. It's based upon a letter (the Joan Anderson letter) from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac.

The scenes are fragmentary, jittery, jazz-punctuated, syncopated, improvised, and skittery; this is the same style in which the Beat writers penned their poems, prose, and personal letters, and it makes the viewer feel as if he/she is reading Beat poetry while watching the film.

When the film opens, Cassady is struggling with the aftermath of his girlfriend's attempted suicide. He begins to examine the battle between his own desire to roam free and write, and her desire to live the American dream (marriage, house).

Overwhelmed, he plunges headfirst into his own desires...

Along the way, Neal realizes that life choices are permanent, for better or for worse.

Keanu Reeves appears briefly as Beat writer Jack Kerouac, silky and smooth, who helps Neal smooth out his rough edges.

The soundtrack is excellent, and a must have for anyone who likes Jazz. The brilliant, landmark Jazz featured is the soundtrack of the Beats themselves, lively, progressive, explosive, the compositions infinite in possibilities.


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