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....
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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
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 »
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 »
All-around excellence in acting, writing, and direction!
This film is a perfect evocation of Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and the times that they lived in. It is the way they and other members of the Beat Generation lived. The script by Stephen Kay is based on a letter that Neal Cassady wrote to Allen Ginsberg about an adventure he had with a girl called Cherry Mary. Thomas Jane gives an outstanding performance as Neal, and Gretchen Mol is a scene-stealer as Cherry Mary. The cast is rounded out with strong supporting turns by Claire Forlani, Keanu Reeves (surprise, surprise!), and Adrien Brody. The direction, soundtrack, costumes, and cinematography all conspire to put you back in time. Stephen Kay is an assured director with just the right touch.
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