Jesus' Son (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  7 July 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,122 users   Metascore: 76/100
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A young man turns from drug addiction and petty crime to a life redeemed by a discovery of compassion.



(book), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Michael Kelly ...
Torben Brooks ...
Car Crash Driver
Dierdre Lewis ...
Driver's Wife
Jimmy Moffit ...
Car Crash Doctor
Dead Man's Wife
Steve Buck ...
Scott Oster ...
Brooke Rachel Shive ...
Beatle (as Brooke Shive)
Jack Hotel
Jesse Weaver Jr. ...
Dundun (as Mike Shannon)


A gentle and usually mellow young man, who sometimes knows things before they happen and gets vibes of premonition, tell us his story: how he met Michelle in Iowa in 1971, how he got the name Fuckhead, how she introduced him to heroin and their falling in love, his thieving, his hospital work and their time in Chicago when she gets pregnant, detox, going to Phoenix to live, AA meetings and a dance, working at a care center where he learns to touch the residents, and modifying his daily schedule so that he passes a neighboring Mennonite household at the right time to hear the wife sing Gospel songs in the shower. Slowly, very slowly, FH lets his gifts emerge. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic drug use, strong language, sexuality and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

7 July 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az élet kalandja  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,089 (USA) (16 June 2000)


$1,282,084 (USA) (18 August 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie's title comes from a line in the Velvet Underground song "Heroin". See more »


Many of the hairstyles (men and women's) and facial hair aren't period correct for the 70's. See more »


FH: Get out of my house.
John Smith: If this is your house, pal, it's no wonder your woman's hitting the road.
See more »


References Easy Come, Easy Go (1967) See more »


Written by Max Avery Lichtenstein (as Max Lichtenstein) and Jason Sebastian Russo (as J. Russo)
Performed by Camphor
Courtesy of Tin Drum Recordings
See more »

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User Reviews

Best Independent Film Of The Year!
23 May 2001 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

Brilliantly pieced together from assorted short stories by Denis Johnson, director Alison Maclean brings depth, humour, compassion, and darkness to the screen adaption. Heroin addict FH (ryhmes with: Duck Bed) goes through a strange odyssey of loss and understanding his compassion. Brilliantly (and this is not an overstatement) acted by Billy Crudup (who should have been given an Oscar nod for his performance), he brings a complexity to his character that is missing from most actors around. Minor details are amazingly evident in his portrayel of FH, as the lovelorn, selfish, and sensitive junkie. Samantha Morton is outstanding as Michelle (FH's girlfriend), giving an intense and moody performance (which the viewer mourns the loss of half way through). The movie mixes moments of surreal madness, as the viewer is taken along existential scenes that could be described as hallucinogenic and funny. The scene where a gentleman (played by book author Denis Johnson) comes into a hospital with a hunting knife stuck in his eye is uncomfortably hillarious. Drugged up hospital attendant Georgie (Jack Black in a standout performance) proceeds to pop pills as he attempts to pull the knife out. But this is just one of the many great cameos that fills the screen. Denis Leary (looking a lot like Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider", Holly Hunter (playing a neurotic widow with a limp), and Dennis Hopper (looking amazingly like Dennis Hopper too) give great performances as well. Alison Maclean directs the film with great use of color and cinematography, but never crowding the actor's performance. Included as well, is a great music theme by Joe Henry, that incorporates the blending of psychedlic guitar and wurlitzer electric piano work. The rest of the soundtrack is great as well, with music by Wilco, Joe Tex, Neil Young, and Booker T & The MG's. This film was one of my favourite films of the year, and unfortunately didn't get as much notice as it deserved. Highly recommended!

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