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Grand Theft Parsons (2003)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | 18 June 2004 (USA)
There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Radio Announcer
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Phil Kaufman
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Girl at Joshua Tree Inn
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Gram Parsons
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Reporter
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Crying Girl
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Music Expert
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Nurse
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TV Interviewer
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Nurse 2 (as Alexa Motley)
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Doctor
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Susie
...
...
Truck Driver
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Undertaker
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Storyline

There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant, genius who knew Elvis, tripped with the Stones and fatally overdosed on morphine and tequila in 1973. And from his dying came a story. A story from deep within folklore; a story of friendship, honour and adventure; a story so extraordinary that if it didn't really happen, no one would believe it. Two men, a hearse, a dead rock star, five gallons of petrol, and a promise. And the most extraordinary chase of modern times. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's better to burn out than to fade away. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug references and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Country:

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Release Date:

18 June 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy hullarablás  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Phil Kaufman: at the end of the movie where he is led down the steps of the local police station protesting his innocence. See more »

Goofs

When Kaufman and the Hippy drive to the airport, there is a modern model pick-up truck in the background parked off the road in the upper right hand part of the screen. See more »

Quotes

Phil Kaufman: We'll be goin' now that your sign is no longer impeding our forward progress.
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Crazy Credits

Cannes Promo Reel Screened on Apple iBooks See more »

Soundtracks

Manomanjari
Performed by Nikhil Banerjee - Live at De Kosmos - Amsterdam 1972
Released by arrangement with Mrs Roma Banerjee
Recorded at de Kosmos, Amsterdam 11/24/72 by Felix van Lamsweerde
By kind permission of Raga Records
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User Reviews

 
Hilarious, heartwarming black comedy
18 April 2004 | by (Bradford, UK) – See all my reviews

It may be about a stolen corpse, but ‘Grand Theft Parsons' is anything but morbid. It's a charming, heartwarming tale in which the central living character's integrity and loyalty goes beyond the grave – or rather, beyond the desert bonfire.

The film is loosely based on the true story of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons and his road manager Phil Kaufman. When Parsons dies of a drug overdose, Kaufman is grimly determined to fulfil his late friend's wish to be cremated in the desert - even if that means stealing his coffin and evading a diverse posse of pursuers in a bright yellow hearse driven by an addled hippy.

Some have complained about the liberties taken with the true story of Parsons' incineration in the wilderness by Kaufman – but as the real Kaufman makes a cameo appearance in the film, one may assume that he didn't mind. In any case, the truth-bending is clearly acknowledged in captions at the start of the movie.

There are some truly superb performances. Johnny Knoxville proves that he can be much more than an annoying prankster with a thoroughly convincing portrayal of Kaufman, Christina Applegate is magnificently repellent as Parsons' avaricious ex-girlfriend, and Robert Forster lends a warm, weary dignity to the character of Parsons' father. Best of all, though, is Michael Shannon's hysterically funny turn as the hapless hippy hearse driver, gradually realising the terrible truth about the situation he's stumbled into.

It all adds up to a frequently hilarious and delightful film, hugely enhanced by a glorious soundtrack featuring plenty of the real Parsons.


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