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Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel (2004)

On September 19, 1973, the musician and heir to a million-dollar fortune died under the influence of drugs and alcohol near his favourite place - the Joshua Tree National Monument in the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tracey MacLeod ...
Herself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Buck ...
Himself - R.E.M.
Gretchen Carpenter ...
Herself - Gram's Widow
...
Himself
...
Herself - Writer
...
Herself - Musician
Chris Hillman ...
Himself - Musician
Phil Kaufman ...
Himself - Road Manager
Bernie Leadon ...
Himself - Musician
John Nuese ...
Himself
Becky Parsons Gottsegen ...
Herself - Gram's Stepsister
Diane Parsons ...
Herself - Gram's Sister
Gram Parsons ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself
...
Himself - Musician
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On September 19, 1973, the musician and heir to a million-dollar fortune died under the influence of drugs and alcohol near his favourite place - the Joshua Tree National Monument in the Californian desert. As the founder of the Flying Burrito Brothers, a member of the hit-making, legendary Byrds, an important influence on the Rolling Stones and the man who catapulted Emmylou Harris to fame, Gram Parsons made music history in only a few years. The film was made on location by director and musician Gandulf Hennig and American music journalist, musician and biographer Sid Griffin. Friends, contemporaries and devotees of Gram Parsons talk about the importance of his work and the bizarre circumstances of his early death. Rare footage of his performances shows why Gram Parsons has become a legend. Interviewees include Gram's wife Gretchen, his sister and his daughter, Keith Richards, Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman and "Road Manager" Phil Kaufman. Written by Anonymous

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Feature length documentary on the musician and million-dollar-heir Gram Parsons, his exceptional life, his bizarre death, and his deep impact on music history.

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Documentary | Music

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29 April 2004 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A thoughtful and compassionate study of Parsons' life.
9 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having just seen the film I was shocked by the previous comment which seems way off beam to me. I don't think that there is anything shoddy about the editing or camera work, though a great deal of the footage is original super 8 material that obviously has all the flaws of being shot by men on drugs.

Most of all I felt that this was a wonderfully composed documentary that took as it's subject Parsons' life as a whole, rather than concentrating on his all too brief recording career. It is clear that the director felt that the demons which created Gram's music and which pursued him to his early death came from his opulent childhood, the early and shocking suicide of his father, the death from alcoholism of his mother and the alleged role in this of his step father Bob Parsons. Consequently we hear from Gram's half sister, from Bob Parsons' other daughter (with his second wife) and from Bob Parsons' friend because these are all people who can shed light on these events which are so vital in understanding Gram's life. The relationship between Gram and Bob was complex and obviously very important to Gram and I felt the inclusion of all of these people made for a powerful portrait of Gram Parsons.

Overall I thought the documentary was balanced, fair, enthralling and with an excellent calibre of interviewee (not only in that we hear detailed accounts from greats like Emmy Lou Harris and Keith Richards but that the team have dug deep and seem to have got hold of people who knew Gram at every stage in his life). It discusses all the aspects and issues of Parsons' life, loves and death without stooping to gossipy tittle-tattle about who slept with who. I think the previous commentator must have seen an entirely different film, the one I've just watched is brilliant.


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