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Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film (2006)

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A documentary on the life and death of Hunter S. Thompson.

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Title: Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film (2006)

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F.X. Feeney ...
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"Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride: Hunter S. Thompson On Film is a personal, intimate look at Thompson with a special emphasis on his Hollywood relationships. It captures the legacy and "gonzo" spirit of one of this century's most notorious figures - a man whose life and work regularly intersected with some of the biggest names in the world of film, politics, journalism and sports. The documentary features interviews with Hunter's inner circle of family and friends, but the thrust of the film is focused on the manner in which his life often overlapped with numerous Hollywood celebrities who became his close friends, such as Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas); Bill Murray (Where the Buffalo Roam); Sean Penn, John Cusack, Hunter's wife Anita, son Juan, former Senators George McGovern and Gary Hart, Tom Wolfe, William F. Buckley, Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton, Ralph Steadman and others. Written by Steve Belgard

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12 December 2006 (USA)  »

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Edited from Breakfast with Hunter (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
part eulogy and part retrospective, as a big fan I didn't learn much, but it's nice to see it
27 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the few times I've ever teared up after hearing of a well-known public figure passing in my lifetime, aside from Kubrick, was Hunter S. Thompson; equally I had a real gasp when I saw how he died. After seeing the documentary, I can see the point of view of his own reasons for it (he always said that he wouldn't know what to do if he couldn't commit suicide anytime he wanted, however much that's true I don't know), but it's still saddening. So seeing a documentary on the man and his legacy, as a fan, was a must for me. But also as a fan, having read a good handful of his books and seeing the films, there wasn't too much presented that really shown any new light about the man (I could already tell from his writing that there was the other side to his 'Gonzo' persona, of being a Southern-style gentleman and very brilliant thinker). It's a wonderful, if all-too-short, compilation of interviews and clips of interviews with the man himself, along with scenes from Where the Buffalo Roam and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Among the few things that did interest me was hearing about his early life, how he started drinking when he was 10/11 years old, got into major juvenile crimes as a teen, and started to write by basically copying word for word the books of Fitzgerald and Hemingway. I also thought it was interesting to see from the testimonies of actors and friends talk about how he sometimes had to balance out his own self-created anarchic public persona without it seeming too overboard, a caricature.

Here was a man who basically needed chaos and disorder in his life, who pushed excesses of not just drugs and alcohol and crazy s*** with guns, but also food and manic antics in hotels and on the road (always on the move, his widowed wife says). So seeing some of that talked about is interesting and sometimes even funny; I loved seeing the leftovers of phone calls he had with people, and the voice messages left for compadres like Ralph Steadman, and seeing how Thompson dictated in his will to go out, via cannon-shooting-ashes, is really touching in how it links to his persona. But throughout the grungy Nick Nolte narration of the simplistic, adoration type lines, and the typical notes on all of the actors and famous authors and childhood friends and ex-lawyers, it all kind of pecks at me at not being the kind of real tribute a guy like this should get. One of the moments where the doc does have a spark of 'what the hell' is when we first see Gary Busey, who almost directs the director of the film to how he should enter into being questioned about his one part in Fear & Loathing. Still, there's too much for fans I would want to say to look for to not say to see it, and for those who don't know much about the man's work (though maybe know his persona, as 'gonzo journalism' and the name Thompson are close to household words if you're into literature or the subversive) it's really worth stopping your remote on it if it pops up on TV. Where else will one find footage of Harry Dean Stanton, in emotional tribute, performing 'Danny Boy'?


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Release Date? pdhyman
Stick to the 'Breakfast with Hunter' dop-16
Quote from the movie which i guess inspired this title kdubi
Can't wait nkickflip69
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help with a quote from the movie! twistergizmo

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