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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson -- Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney presents a probing look into the uncanny life of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson - inventor of gonzo journalism and author of the landmark "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson -- This is the theatrical trailer for the documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, directed by Alex Gibney.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson -- Clip: Nixon


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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Alex Gibney (screenplay)
Hunter S. Thompson (writings)
View company contact information for Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 July 2008 (USA) See more »
A portrait of the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The smartest guy at the bar See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order)

Hunter S. Thompson ... Himself (archive footage)

Johnny Depp ... Himself - Narrator
Joe Cairo ... New York Studio Shoot
David Carlo ... New York Studio Shoot
Victor Ortiz ... New York Studio Shoot
Gilleon Smith ... New York Studio Shoot

Alex Ziwak ... New York Studio Shoot
Melissa Otero ... New York Studio Shoot - Typist
Pierre Adeli ... Taco Stand Shoot
Angela Berliner ... Taco Stand Shoot

Eugenia Care ... Taco Stand Shoot

Brian Kimmet ... Taco Stand Shoot
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oscar Acosta ... Himself (archive footage)

Muhammad Ali ... Himself (archive footage)
Sonny Barger ... Himself (also archive footage)

Warren Beatty ... Himself (archive footage)
Bob Braudis ... Himself

Douglas Brinkley ... Himself

Pat Buchanan ... Himself

Jimmy Buffett ... Himself (also archive footage)

George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage) (as George Bush)
Patrick Caddell ... Himself (as Pat Caddell)

Jimmy Carter ... Himself (also archive footage)
Tim Crouse ... Himself (also archive footage)
Richard J. Daley ... Himself - 1968 Convention (archive footage) (as Mayor Daley)
Thomas Eagleton ... Himself (archive footage)

Gary Hart ... Himself (also archive footage)
Hubert H. Humphrey ... Himself (archive footage) (as Hubert Humphrey)
Jefferson Airplane ... Themselves (archive footage)

John F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)

Robert F. Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage) (as Robert Kennedy)

Ted Kennedy ... Himself (archive footage)

Martin Luther King ... Himself (archive footage)
Timothy Leary ... Himself (archive footage)

Annie Leibovitz ... Herself (archive footage)
Frank Mankiewicz ... Himself (archive footage)

George McGovern ... Himself (also archive footage)
Edmund Muskie ... Himself (archive footage)
Laila Nabulsi ... Herself

Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles Perry ... Himself
Grace Slick ... Herself (archive footage)

Ralph Steadman ... Himself (also archive footage)
George Stranahan ... Himself
Anita Thompson ... Herself
Juan Thompson ... Himself (also archive footage)
George Wallace ... Himself - Assassination Attempt (archive footage)

Jann Wenner ... Himself (also archive footage)

Tom Wolfe ... Himself
Sondi Wright ... Herself
Nick Berg ... Himself - Murder Video (archive footage) (uncredited)
Carl Bernstein ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Osama bin Laden ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Dick Cheney ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
David Eisenhower ... Himself - 1972 Convention (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jane Fonda ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Kerry ... Himself - Thompson Memorial Attendee (archive footage) (uncredited)

Henry Kissinger ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Charles Manson ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Murray ... Himself - Thompson Memorial Attendee (archive footage) (uncredited)
Julie Nixon ... Herself - 1972 Convention (archive footage) (uncredited)
Pat Nixon ... Herself - 1972 Convention (archive footage) (uncredited)
Tricia Nixon ... Herself - 1972 Convention (archive footage) (uncredited)

Donald Rumsfeld ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bob Woodward ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Alex Gibney 
Writing credits
Alex Gibney (screenplay)

Hunter S. Thompson (writings)

Produced by
Roy Ackerman .... co-executive producer
Graydon Carter .... producer
Lisa Cohen .... producer: imaging
Mark Cuban .... executive producer
Salimah El-Amin .... associate producer
Salimah El-Amin .... producer: archival research
Alison Ellwood .... producer
Don Fleming .... producer: archival research
Nick Fraser .... co-executive producer
Jannat Gargi .... producer: imaging
Alex Gibney .... producer
Alexandra Johnes .... production executive
Jason Kliot .... producer
Eva Orner .... producer
Joana Vicente .... producer
Stephen Vittoria .... producer: San Francisco
Todd Wagner .... executive producer
Original Music by
David Schwartz 
Cinematography by
Maryse Alberti (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Alison Ellwood 
Production Management
Jenna Capozzi .... production manager: taco stand shoot
Kelley Cribben .... post-production supervisor
Gretchen McGowan .... head of production: HDNet Films
Art Department
Michael Ahern .... leadman: New York (as Mike Ahern)
Joe Cairo .... art director: New York
Amanda Ford .... production designer: New York
Gina Freedman .... set dresser: New York
Nick Gibney .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
Felix Andrew .... sound mixer
Travis Call .... audio post coordinator
Gautam Choudhury .... sound
Margaret Crimmins .... sound designer
Bradley Dunn .... sound
David Hocs .... sound
Michael Isabell .... sound
Mike Karas .... sound
Benjamin Lowry .... sound
Kevin Padden .... sound
Greg Smith .... sound designer
Tami Stepanek .... sound (as Tamara Stepanek)
David Terry .... sound mixer (some interviews)
Tony Volante .... sound re-recording mixer
Kieron Wolfson .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Sam Black .... photoshop artist
Mark A. Brown .... digital film services (as Marc Brown)
Nadia Husain .... visual effects artist
Lindy Jankura .... photoshop artist
Camille Maren .... photoshop artist
Eric Epstein .... motion graphics artist: Bigstar (uncredited)
Mark Dobson .... stunt double: Hunter S. Thompson
Camera and Electrical Department
Greg Andracke .... additional cinematographer
Ben Bloodwell .... additional cinematographer
Ben Bloodwell .... assistant camera
Christine Burrill .... additional cinematographer
Michael Chin .... additional cinematographer
Luis Colon .... grip: New York
Steve Condiotti .... gaffer: San Francisco
Wayne Ewing .... additional cinematographer
Gary Gill .... gaffer: San Francisco
Garth Gunberg .... gaffer: New York (as Garth A. Gunberg)
Don Lenzer .... additional cinematographer
Ed Lindsley .... assistant camera
Steven Lubensky .... assistant camera (as Steve Lubensky)
Antonio Rossi .... additional cinematographer (as Tony Rossi)
Alan Smith .... gaffer: New York
George Steel .... additional cinematographer
Petr Stepanek .... assistant camera
Keenan Wyatt .... additional cinematographer
Tom Young .... additional cinematographer
Tom Young .... additional cinematographer
Editorial Department
Joey Borges .... additional on-line editor
Marc Brown .... film output: digital intermediate
Shannon Hall .... digital intermediate producer (as Shannon K. Hall)
Lindy Jankura .... associate editor
Pat Kelleher .... additional on-line editor
Benjamin Murray .... conforming HD editor
Mike Nuget .... additional on-line editor: HD
Scot Olive .... digital intermediate colorist
Bill Scott .... senior color timer
Eric Ramistella .... additional on-line editor: HD (uncredited)
Music Department
John McCullough .... music supervisor
Jason Tregoe Newman .... music editor (as Jason Newman)
Jason Ryterband .... music editor
Jason Ryterband .... music mixer
Transportation Department
Darth Cater .... driver: camper, San Francisco
Jeff Culgan .... provider: BSA Motorcycle, New York
Larry Dixon .... driver: camper, San Francisco
Mark Dobson .... driver
Ken Fleisch .... driver: insert car, San Francisco
Barry Porter .... provider: BSA Motorcycle, San Francisco
Other crew
Nathan Adams .... technical consultant
Laird Adamson .... international sales: HDNet Films
Courtney Andrialis .... creative executive: HDNet Films
Sam Black .... archival research coordinator
Sam Black .... production assistant
Jack Carr .... intern
Ryan Cook .... intern
Richard Dworkin .... transcriber
Jacqueline Eckhouse .... production counsel: Sloss Law (as Jackie Eckhouse)
Jess Fulton .... production assistant
Sean P. Galvin .... intern (as Sean Galvin)
Alexandra Geregova .... intern
Nick Gibney .... production assistant
Garren Givens .... intern
Lisa Gray .... intern
Sarah Hack .... assistant: M. Kliot & Ms. Vicente, HDNet Films
Carrie Hoffman .... intern
Steve Holmgren .... office manager: HDNet Films
Charlie Hoxie .... archival research coordinator
Nick Johnson .... production assistant
Matt Jordan .... office manager: HDNet Films
Barbara Karen .... production accountant
Charlotte Kaufman .... intern
Patrick Kelly .... production coordinator: San Francisco
Kathleen Lingo .... intern
Quentin Little .... development executive: HDNey Films
Christopher Matson .... head of business affairs: HDNet Films (as Chris Matson)
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Noel Davis Poyner .... intern (as Noel Poyner)
Matthew Rasmussen .... assistant: J. Kliot and J. Vicente.HDNet Films
Amanda Ritchie .... intern
Peter Russotti .... production coordinator
Marcia Rutledge .... production insurance: Marsh Entertainment Insurance
Ben Sozanski .... archival research coordinator
Ben Sozanski .... production assistant
Robert Stein .... legal counsel: Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn
Julie Thiery .... assistant: production and post executives, HDNet Films
Rebecca Wexler .... intern
Crystal Whelan .... production coordinator
Chris White .... assistant: production and post executives, HDNet Films
David Williams .... location: taco stand shoot (as Dave Williams)
Virginia A. Williams .... production executive: HDNet Films
Jessica Berman Bogdan .... thanks
Francisca Brandmark .... thanks
Douglas Brinkley .... special thanks
Anna Carter .... thanks
Fritz Clapp .... thanks
Steve Crist .... thanks
Christi Dembrowski .... special thanks
Wayne Ewing .... special thanks
Leon Gast .... thanks
Hal Haddon .... thanks
Stephanie Howard .... thanks
David Linde .... special thanks
David Meyer .... thanks
Val Moraes .... thanks
Laila Nabulsi .... special thanks
Ann A. Neal .... thanks
Jeff Scheftel .... thanks
Corey Seymour .... thanks
Ralph Steadman .... special thanks
Mel Stuart .... thanks
Anita Thompson .... special thanks
Juan Thompson .... special thanks
George Tobia Jr. .... special thanks (as George Tobia)
Hal Willner .... thanks
Sondi Wright .... thanks
Keenan Wyatt .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and some nudity
120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Factual errors: On the on-screen display caption for Jimmy Carter it states that he was US President from 1976 to 1980. Carter was actually President from January 20 1977 to January 20 1981.See more »
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Referenced in World's Greatest Dad (2009/I)See more »
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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
The smartest guy at the bar, 13 July 2008
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

After Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Taxi to the Dark Side, and this vivid, significant depiction of the Sixties and Seventies superstar journalist Hunter Thompson, Alex Gibney has emerged as clearly one of the best documentary filmmakers we've got and also one of the most prolific.

Gibney tells a very smart, very verbal, very funny but also intensely significant story here. Some of the people who speak most highly of Thompson on camera are Billy Carter, William McGovern, and longtime Republican presidential adviser Pat Buchanan,as well as writer Tom Woolf and Thompson's editors at Rolling Stone, for which he did his best periodical pieces, the notable ones turned into books. More intimate details--but the man was such a perpetual performer that public and private are hard to separate--come from Thompson's first and second wives. And the English artist Ralph Steadman, who illustrated the writing, has much to say, as do plenty of others. When Steadman first met Thompson he fed the Brit Psilocybin and he was never the same. Steadman became an invaluable cohort and collaborator and his wild drawings provide a perfect visual counterpart to Thompson's written words on screen.

Thompson was a notorious wild man from early on. "I wouldn't recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me," he said. Prodigious in his consumption of drugs and alcohol, he was witness to some of the great events of his time, and got deeply involved in politics and opposition to the Vietnam war and of course the counterculture. Lean, athletic, flashily dressed, with trademark balding pate, big sunglasses, cigarette holder and drink in hand, Thompson was a demon at the IBM Selectric, gleefully spinning out brilliant pieces nobody else could have written, a master of outrage and wit.

Fueled by craziness, substances, and his own tongue-in-cheek joie de vivre, he devised his own outrageous style of writing in which cold clear fact was blended with wild invention and the adjectives and metaphors flew like hornets around a honey pot. Others too partook of the kind of journalism he practiced. The times--the flamboyant and boisterous and revolutionary Sixties and early Seventies-- seemed to call for a new more violent, more committed language in journalism. Norman Mailer also wrote about the democratic convention in Chicago in 1968 and on hand for Esquire were the likes of Jean Genet and William Burroughs. Three is something of Burroughs in Thompson, the drugs and the outrage and a way of seeing convention as conspiracy. One of Thompson's famous quotes gives a hint of the link: "America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable." This was the moment when the distinction between fiction and non-fiction blurred: Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which used raw material from the more adventurous Thompson), Thompson's act of "embedded journalism" as Wolfe calls it, Hell's Angels), Truman Capote's murder story In Cold Blood done for The New Yorker, were all variations on the idea of the "non-fiction novel." Mailer had done a heroically personal and novelistic account of the 1967 March on the Pentagon, The Armies of the Night. The film might do a bit more to put Thompson in all this context, but it's clearly implied. He called his wild style "gonzo" journalism.

Thompson also wrote about Las Vegas as the American dream and about Nixon, whom he loathed. He also used a tape recorder a lot. This provides great material for the film. So does the Terry Gilliam film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; and Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in the film and became a great fan and friend, reads salient passages sitting in front of a well-stocked bar. Depp paid for the spectacular monument/funeral for the writer that Thompson had--on film--planned out long before, in which his ashes are fired into the Colorado hills. Ralph Steadman did the sketches. This is shown at the end of the film and provides a lovely son et lumière finale.

Thompson's innate violence may explain how he could have blended in so well for a while with the Hell's Angels. He kept at least twenty firearms on hand in his house, all loaded, his first wife reports. He always planned to end his life with suicide and he shot himself. He did it on a nice day in February almost as a family event, with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson at the house and on the phone with his wife, a shot to the head, at the age of 68, not an act of depression but the completion of a careful plan. It was over. And he had been here to see George W. Bush and predict the decline and fall of the American empire. A late collection of short pieces is entitled Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and the Downward Spiral of Dumbness.

His dissipation took its toll and so did fame. He fell into playing a self-parodying avatar of himself and his writing deteriorated after the later Seventies, so he had about ten good years and about twenty not-so-good ones. Some have dwelt on his decline; Gonzo doesn't. His writing faltered as early as 1974 when he went to Zaire with Steadman to cover the Foreman-Ali "Rumble in the Jungle" and he got drunk at the pool during the fight and never finished the story. Given how bright he burned and how hard he lived, it was inevitable that the man would burn out early And writing did not by any means fizzle out even into the Nineties. There is an immense wealth of spinoffs on film; Gibney had rich, rich material to work with here.

The best that could happen is that this beautifully edited and greatly entertaining film makes a host of new converts to the writing.

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Solid doc with annoying music mixed too loud skysaxon
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