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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:
...
Himself - R.E.M.
Gretchen Carpenter ...
Herself - Gram's Widow
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Himself
...
Herself - Writer
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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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The Situated Seduction
17 July 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

You should know I am biased in this comment. I know some of the people in this documentary. And I had Gram's piano in my house for ten years after he died.

I value what he found with Emmylou as charmed, unique and important. His music never touched me personally because it was so hopeless in intent while being so seductive and original in its phrasing. This is everything Sinatra was claimed to be. It was genuine; just the wrong food for health.

There are two stories here. One is the story of what actually made the music special — when it was. You won't get this from old musicians or girl friends. You have to get it from someone who is a storyteller of skill equal to the subject: subtle, light, subliminal and full of contradictions. Addiction before it manifests, while it is still an urge.

This documentary misses that, misses it completely. Some people say that he was influential and then point to what today is called country music. That's neither useful nor correct. You miss everything if you miss this.

There is another story, the "Tennessee Williams" family tragedy that proceeds three generations before and already two after him. Its vastly more complex than described here, cleaned for obvious reasons.

Some day, someone may find a way to tell this story in a way that is not merely voyeuristic, but in a way that matters, that is deep and that changes lives. Until then, simple people will just want the broad outlines, and some unusual drama. And they will be able to get that here.

The editing is fine. The archival footage is valuable. There are lots of good songs.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


5 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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