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The Laramie Project (2002)

TV Movie  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  9 March 2002 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,384 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 17 critic

The true story of an American town in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard.

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Title: The Laramie Project (TV Movie 2002)

The Laramie Project (TV Movie 2002) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Andy Paris ...
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Greg Pierotti (as Grant James Varjas)
Kelli Simpkins ...
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Billie McBride ...
Bill Christ ...
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Regina Krueger ...
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Storyline

Moisés Kaufman and members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard's visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of "Angels in America" a year after Shephard's death. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone Carries a Piece of the Truth. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le projet Laramie  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, Rebecca Hillicker (Camryn Manheim) is directing a rehearsal of a play that Moisés Kaufman (Nestor Carbonell) says he "never gets tired of" (and Hillicker responds, "Yeah, well, try directing it fifty times."). The play is "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder, which won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and has been a staple of community, college, and high school theaters ever since. Like "The Laramie Project", "Our Town" is a play about a typical American small town and the impact on that town's citizens of the death of a beloved young person. See more »

Quotes

Dennis Shepard: My son, Matthew, did not look like a winner. He was rather uncoordinated and wore braces from the age of 13 until the day he died. However in his all-too-brief life, he proved that he was a winner. On October 6th 1998, he tried to show the world he could win again. On October 12th 1998, my first born son, and my hero, lost. On October 12th 1998, my first born son, and my hero, died. 50 days before his 22nd birthday. I keep wondering the same thing that I did when I first saw him in the hospital...
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Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: Otto, or Up with Dead People (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't You See
Written by Toy Caldwell Jr.
Performed by The Marshall Tucker Band
Courtesy of Spirit Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Very important and moving
7 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

I knew when I first heard about the project to put The Laramie Project on-screen that I wanted to see it. I knew, too, that I would find it moving and touching and probably a bit depressing. What I did not know, however, is that it would remind me of my own responsibility to live out loud and honestly. I remember being numb to Matthew Shepherd's death at the time it occurred, thinking how this is just one person out of the thousands whose similar experiences are never heard, so what makes him so special.

What I realized while I watched the film is that it is precisely because he is no more special than other human being that makes his story important, because it could be any gay person's story, even any minority person's story, and whatever draws attention to matters of hate and violence in the name of fear is crucial to the fight for equality of all people.

I realized while watching this film that I let loved ones in my life get away with language that I wouldn't take from a stranger, ignorant comments about how I don't make them uncomfortable because I don't "flaunt my gayness." Seemingly harmless words like "live and let live" are really saying "I will live however I want, and you can live however you want as long as I don't have to hear about it."

The Laramie Project reminded me how precious freedom is and how puritan this supposedly free country still is. I wish this film would become a part of school curriculum, part of office training on sensitivity--it should be viewed by everyone of both sides of the "gay issue." I hope it serves to change some minds.


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