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Kill Your Darlings (2013)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,348 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 31 user | 150 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.

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Title: Kill Your Darlings (2013)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Professor Stevens
Brenda Wehle ...
Permissions Librarian
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Businessman
Lenore Harris ...
DA Secretary
Mark Ethan ...
Campus Guard
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Luke Detiweler
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Storyline

In the early 1940s, Alan Ginsberg is an English major in Columbia University, only to learn more than he bargained for. Dissatisfied by the orthodox attitudes of the school, Alan finds himself drawn to iconoclastic colleagues like Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Together, this gang would explore bold new literary ideas that would challenge the sensibilities of their time as the future Beat Generation. However, for all their creativity, their very appetites and choices lead to more serious transgressions that would mark their lives forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language, drug use and brief violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

19 September 2013 (Croatia)  »

Also Known As:

Kill Your Darlings  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$53,452 (USA) (18 October 2013)

Gross:

$1,029,949 (USA) (21 February 2014)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Evans, Jesse Eisenberg and Ben Whishaw were originally cast in the lead roles. See more »

Goofs

The Columbia University library tour guide proudly identifies a book as a first folio edition of "Hamlet." There is no such edition. "Hamlet" was published in quarto editions (half the size of folio) during Shakespeare's life. The only folio editions of Shakespeare's work were the posthumous collections of his complete plays. See more »

Quotes

Allen Ginsberg: [to Lucien] Fuck you! You're a phony.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2014: Episode dated 3 December 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Room
Written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers
Performed by Catherine Russell accompanied by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks
Published by Warner Brothers Music Corp, Williamson Music Co.
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User Reviews

 
Getting to know the Beat Generation
27 March 2014 | by (Ecuador) – See all my reviews

"Another lover hits the universe. The circle is broken. But with death comes rebirth. And like all lovers and sad people, I am a poet."

I knew nothing about Kill Your Darlings going into this movie (which means I basically don't know anything about modern American literature because apparently these guys were famous poets that influenced their generation during the 50's with their literary work). Known today as the Beat generation, they basically rejected the moral standards imposed at the time and innovated in style while experimenting with drugs and sex. Many films based on their work have been adapted for for the big screen (Howl, On the Road, and Naked Lunch), but I haven't seen them, so I actually went into this film without knowing anything about these writers. The film serves as an introduction as to how these writers came together and influenced one another during their teenage years, and it is told from Allen Ginsberg's point of view. This biographical drama/thriller may not be entirely factual, but it is still a fascinating story, and once the film ended it made me want to know about who these people were. The film's main attraction is the excellent chemistry between Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan who give excellent performances (and after a while you actually forget Radcliffe is Harry Potter). The supporting cast is also strong, including Michael C. Hall, Ben Foster, and Jack Huston. I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Olsen, but in this film her character wasn't given much to work with, but it makes sense considering the Beat generation is a male dominated movement. It ended up influencing the hippie movement in the 60's and popular rock bands like The Beatles. This film only focuses on the early stages of their lives, but it shows how these artists came to know each other and how Lucien Carr was the most influential figure in their formation.

The screenplay was co-written by director John Krokidas and Austin Bunn focusing on the early stages of Alan Ginsberg's (Daniel Radcliffe) life as he began studying at Columbia University which shaped his philosophical views on life. The turning point in his life was when he met his classmate, Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) who taught him to question the orthodox methods of the school and introduced him to other future icons of the Beat generation: William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster), and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston). Together they would hang out in night clubs exploring new literary ideas and basically rediscovering themselves. They were against moral boundaries and explored with drugs and sex. Alan and some of the others also dealt with their homosexuality, while some tried to hide it. Lu also introduced Alan to one of his mentors, David Krammerer (Michal C. Hall), who was obsessed with Lu and ultimately led to a tragic event.

The film succeeds mostly because of the great performances from the young cast and because it is actually an intriguing story. John Krokidas isn't a director I was familiar with, but he does a decent job with this film. The film does have a believable 40's style and it stays true to the period. It is really well paced as well and it begins to get more interesting once the crime takes place. Unfortunately the film does lack some structure and at times I felt like it was wandering off. The scenes with Allen's mother never were explored much, but we understand how it affected his life and his relationship with his father. The characters are sometimes a bit too clever and don't feel real at times. Still, I was engaged with this film thanks to the material which is very interesting and I enjoyed the performances very much. The film is ambiguous at times, but that is what will leave you thinking and wanting to learn more about these characters at the end. It is all over the place at times, but I was drawn in to the story and for a biopic it gets the job done.


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