6.8/10
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52 user 165 critic

Howl (2010)

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As Allen Ginsberg talks about his life and art, his most famous poem is illustrated in animation while the obscenity trial of the work is dramatized.

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Todd Rotondi ...
Jack Kerouac
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Neal Cassady
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Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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Judge Clayton Horn
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Heather Klar ...
Jack's Girlfriend
Kaydence Frank ...
Allen's Girlfriend (as Kadance Frank)
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Mark Schorer
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Sailor
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Hustler
Nancy Spence ...
Neal's Girlfriend
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Storyline

It's San Francisco in 1957, and an American masterpiece is put on trial. Howl, the film, recounts this dark moment using three interwoven threads: the tumultuous life events that led a young Allen Ginsberg to find his true voice as an artist, society's reaction (the obscenity trial), and animation that echoes the poem's surreal style. All three coalesce in hybrid that dramatizes the birth of a counterculture. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Obscenity Trial That Started a Revolution. The Poem That Rocked a Generation.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content including language and images, and for some drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

27 August 2010 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Uivo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$51,185, 26 September 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$617,334, 6 February 2011
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 14 days around New York City in March/April 2009. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Allen Ginsberg: "Howl" for Carl Salomon. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night...
[continues reading but unheard, credits roll]
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Connections

Referenced in Doppio urlo (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Dim the Lights
Written by Teddy Lasry
ZFC Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of FirstCom Music
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User Reviews

 
Howl
21 June 2010 | by See all my reviews

Howl was an interesting look into the life of Allen Ginsberg. The movie was mainly about the trial that questioned whether or not Ginsberg's poem, "Howl" was too obscene. However, there were brief bits where James Franco as Ginsberg was being interviewed about his personal life.

I felt that the animations that were displayed during the reading of the poem made the poem more powerful and clear. The contrasts between the beautiful imagery of the poem and the scenes of the tense trial were great. The trial scenes were very powerful, and the actors that played the witnesses (namely Mary Louise-Parker and Jeff Daniels), did a really great job creating believable characters.

I loved the film and Franco did a great job portraying Allen Ginsberg.


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