Up 1,655 this week

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (2007)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.7/10 from 911 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

"Runnin' Down A Dream," a film directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich, is the story of one of America's great rock and roll bands told as never before.


0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video


TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 05 Feb 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 20 Feb 2012
a list of 25 titles
created 04 Jun 2012
a list of 34 titles
created 12 Mar 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 02 Jun 2014

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (2007)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream (2007) on IMDb 8.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Saint Jack (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Compelling character study, revolving around Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara), an American hustler trying to make his fortune in 1970s Singapore in small time pimping. He dreams of building a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Denholm Elliott, James Villiers
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of the punk rock band The Ramones.

Directors: Jim Fields, Michael Gramaglia
Stars: Rick Rubin, Tommy Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone
Texasville (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Summer, 1984: 30 years after Duane captained the high school football team and Jacy was homecoming queen, this Texas town near Wichita Falls prepares for its centennial. Oil prices are down... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms
Hustle (TV Movie 2004)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

An addiction to gambling dims baseball legend Pete Rose's star.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Tom Sizemore, Dash Mihok, George DiCenzo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Semi-true story of the Hollywood murder that occurred at a star-studded gathering aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Cary Elwes, Edward Herrmann
Concert for George (Video 2003)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

George Harrison's friends, family, and bandmates unite for a tribute concert on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Director: David Leland
Stars: Joe Brown, Eric Clapton, Jools Holland
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary covering Neil Young's October 22, 1978 concert performance at the Cow Palace.

Director: Neil Young
Stars: Neil Young, Ralph Molina, Frank 'Pancho' Sampedro
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A biography of the rock music star.

Director: Andrew Solt
Stars: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney
The Beatles Anthology (TV Mini-Series 1995)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

An autobiographical documentary of the greatest of the rock bands.

Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A group of 1950s high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both economically and culturally.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

Called up for jury duty, Richard Dice finds his first crush and only real, but unrequited love, on trial for murder. Richard desperately tries to prove Mollys innocence while untangling a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Rob Lowe, Colleen Camp, Kenneth Mars
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

This film was Peter Bogdanovich's homage to musical comedies of the 1930s. A millionaire named Michael Oliver Pritchard III and a singer named Kitty O'Kelly meet and fall in love. Meanwhile... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd, Madeline Kahn


Credited cast:
Ron Blair ...
Himself (voice)
Mike Campbell ...
Himself (archive footage)
George Drakoulias ...
Howie Epstein ...
Himself (archive footage)
Steve Ferrone ...
Stan Lynch ...
Himself (archive footage)


"Runnin' Down A Dream," a film directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich, is the story of one of America's great rock and roll bands told as never before.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music





Release Date:

14 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Tom Petty Documentary  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Director's Cut DVD)
See  »

Did You Know?


Referenced in By Bogdanovich (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Tremendous Documentary
8 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A sprawling, glorious, epic documentary of one of American Rock's survivors and veterans which at almost four hours, is probably only about fifteen minutes too long. Commissioned by Petty, Director Bogdanovic has produced a classic in the genre. It's success is due to Petty's long and productive career, Petty's wry and lucid reminiscences , access to some excellent archive footage, and shrewd editing. The running time works out at about an hour per ten years of musical career which in that context is fair enough.It is particularly strong in covering the formative years pre-Heartbreakers.

As a long standing fan from the Heartbreakers first album, it was a sweet trip down memory lane. Played out chronologically, there is abundant rehearsal, live and promotional footage from pretty much every era with thoughtful and insightful commentary from Petty and band members throughout. Yet this is a vanity project, albeit a very good one. And although as a testament to a fine career it is about "Best in Class", inevitably there are some critical holes in it.

Their "break" in England, which launched their career is sketchily explained. The eponymous first album, launched as Punk/New Wave was about to overwhelm England, is a deeply conservative and derivative, traditional American Rock record. The only concession to the time was that no song was longer than four minutes, and four of the ten were under three. That they prospered was down to the fact that without those short songs, they would never have been played on the radio, that this was no "new band"- it was a road tested and honed unit with fine musicians, and that they had an "anchor song" in "American Girl" which is still played as the highlight of their set 34 years later.

When "You're Gonna Get it" came out Punk/New wave ruled. Again Petty trimmed. This time six of the ten songs were under three minutes, the cover shot was a broody, moody menacing one, and single choices "You're Gonna get it" and "I Need to Know" were consistent with the musical zeitgeist. How much of this was down to Producer Denny Cordell, how much Petty and how much unknown figures at Shelter Records was unexplained, but it worked.

The Knebworth appearance, which I saw, in 1978 is strangely missed out. It was the moment they came of age. Headliners were Genesis, they were third on the bill behind Jefferson Starship, but ahead of Devo, Brand X and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. In front of 120,000 fans they played a sharp convincing 45 minute set which demonstrated that they had the songs, and presence, to make it. How they got the gig and their recollections of it, would have been fascinating.

As a fan, I am a huge admirer of Petty's music, but it is curious how few crossover great songs he has produced. Beyond "American Girl" you are struggling outside of the converted, and none of his albums really earns "classic" status. Is he a poor man's Southern Springsteen? Yet his pedigree and longevity are undisputed? Howcome? This is not explored. I believe it is down to Petty's ability to absorb and then reinvent familiar sounds. You get recognisable, clever well crafted songs, but never anything truly original. He is a synthesiser of musical styles not an originator.

To Petty's credit, tensions within the band are laid bare. Jimmy Iovine's scarcely disguised contempt for Stan Lynch's drumming is starkly exposed as is bassist Howie Epsteins fatal drug addiction. The mystery of the arson attack on Petty's home remains just that. The mutual love-in between Stevie Nicks and Petty is another delight. Her obvious infatuation with the band is lavishly covered, and the soft focus shots of her in interview suggest that Petty was at the very least flattered.

The Travelling Wilbury's era with Jeff Lynne gives the film a lift although it is a shame that Dylan could not have been persuaded to say a few words. That notwithstanding, Dave Stewart, George Harrison, Dave Grohl and Johnny Depp ensure that Petty is never light of celebrity endorsement.

A delight, and essential viewing for fans, and an education for all music buffs interested in American Rock post 1970's.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Great Documentary- but How Good Are They Really gary-444
She's the One? sistapirate
DVD in Canada? licoricepizza
'acoustic' song when talking about Lynch austintxman
Stan Lynch.... hackerman6731

Contribute to This Page