The Laramie Project (2002)

TV Movie  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  9 March 2002 (USA)
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The true story of an American town in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard.



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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When a small town comes face to face with murder, everybody has a tale to tell. See more »


Drama | Crime


TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le projet Laramie  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Members of the Tectonic company who originally conducted the interviews in Laramie are featured in the movie. See more »


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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Version of The Matthew Shepard Story (2002) See more »


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User Reviews

Powerful, moving
6 January 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Excellent cable movie dealing with the horrendous murder of gay Matthew Shepard in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming. A theatre group went to the town and interviewed the citizens and came back with 400 hours of material. This became a play with actors playing the towns citizens. It's now been done as an HBO film with a top-notch cast playing the citizens. There are also reenactments of the trial of the two murderers and their convictions. This is definetely a strange film but totally fascinating with many powerful moments. The scene where Matthew Shepard's father addresses one of the killers of his son is gut-wrenching--it's hard to believe it's just an actor reading dialogue.

Previous posters have complained about not using the real townspeople talking. I don't think that's a valid argument--many of these people probably wouldn't want to appear on film and would they really want to go through recreations of the trial and the protests outside?

Also, there's not one bad acting job from anybody in the cast but special honors go to Camryn Manheim, Christina Ricci and Amy Madigan.

A powerful, painful film. A definite must-see for everybody.

17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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