Taking Woodstock (2009)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  28 August 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 23,858 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 69 user | 210 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

A man working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.



(screenplay), (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
British Gentleman
Jackson Spiers
Lee Wong ...
George the Doorman (as Takeo Lee Wong)
Bette Henritze ...
Gail Martino ...
Town Clerk


A man working at his parents' motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"A Generation Began In His Backyard."


Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

28 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aconteceu em Woodstock  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,457,760 (USA) (28 August 2009)


$7,443,007 (USA) (25 September 2009)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


No authentic Woodstock footage was inserted into the film. According to director Ang Lee all the crowd and concert footage was shot specifically for the film. See more »


In the cleanup scene, the Boy Scouts' uniforms have green socks with red tops. In 1969, Boy Scouts wore solid green socks. See more »


Elliot Tiber: Where are my arms?
See more »


References Sweet Charity (1969) See more »


Maggie M'Gill
Written by John Densmore, Robby Krieger (as Robert Krieger), Ray Manzarek (as Raymond Manzarek) and Jim Morrison
Performed by The Doors
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Half-Mast Freak Flag
4 September 2009 | by (FLA-GA) – See all my reviews

I worshiped the youth culture from afar in the late sixties. I was too young to participate but did my best to disrupt jr. high assemblies with the Fish cheer. I didn't know about the Woodstock Festival until two weeks after it occurred, and I remember how much I hated being oppressed by a traditional establishment patriarchy who wouldn't even drive me across town to an anti-war demonstration. When I finally saw the documentary the following year, I knew I had missed something that was epic and iconic. (Big sigh...)

I had been looking forward to "Taking Woodstock" since I first read that it was in production. I was particularly eager to see Demetri Martin in a starring role; I've admired him for some time. I've also spent quality time in the Catskills--I love that part of the country. Lee's film certainly captures the beauty of White Lake, and generally recreates the groove and vibe of a specific time and place, but the narrative seemed somehow disjointed (unintentional pun) There seemed to be too many empty moments substituting for poignancy, and undeveloped stories that might have added a bit more depth to Lee's tale.

Demetri Martin as Eliot Teber, was adorable but I was frustrated by his poker face (something that makes his stage comedy hilarious). I enjoyed Liev Schreiber whose drag was not only believable, but also compelling. Henry Goodman, as Eliot's beleaguered father, was also finely developed, but Imelda Stauntan played his mother as a shrewish fishwife with virtually no redeeming character qualities. Not even after pot brownies.

Seeing "Taking Woodstock" makes me miss my long lost soundtrack of the original concert, something I shall remedy this weekend. I'm also eager to watch the documentary again with it's hippie-trippie split screens and portraits of long gone poets, artists, and other kindred spirits.

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