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CBGB (2013)

R  |   |  Drama, Music  |  11 October 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 4,994 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 27 user | 36 critic | 17 from

A look at the New York City punk-rock scene and the venerable nightclub, CBGB.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lisa Kristal
Cheetah Chrome
Mad Mountain
Mary Harron


CBGB follows the story of Hilly Kristal's New York club from its conceit as a venue for Country, Bluegrass and Blues (CBGB) to what it ultimately became: the birthplace of underground rock 'n roll and punk. When Kristal had difficulty booking country bands in his club on the Bowery he opened his doors to other kinds of rock music. Kristal had one demand of the acts he booked; they could only play original music. No top 40's, no covers. It was the credo he lived by, support the artist at whatever the cost. Hilly Kristal ironically became known as the godfather of punk giving a chance to such bands as Blondie, Television, Ramones, Talking Heads, Dead Boys and The Police. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


50,000 bands and 1 disgusting bathroom.


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content, drug use, and a scene of violence.

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

CBGB: O Berço do Punk Rock  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,000 (USA) (4 October 2013)


$40,400 (USA) (18 October 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alan Rickman and Rupert Grint previously worked together in the Harry Potter films See more »


Several shots show the corner of Bleecker Street and the Bowery. The street signs have white letters on a green background. In the 1970s, Manhattan street signs had black letters on a yellow background. See more »


Hilly Kristal: What kind of music do you play?
Terry Ork: Ohmmmm... new music.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This film is dedicated to... Hilly Kristal and all those who worked at and lived at CBGB. MAY THEY ROCK ON FOREVER! No animals were harmed during the making of this film... The cockroach guts were Fig Newtons. And we know that Iggy Pop never played at CBGB... Just deal with it." See more »


References White Zombie (1932) See more »


I Can't Stand It
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by The Velvet Underground
Courtesy of Polydor Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Historical inaccuracies bound
18 November 2013 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

Regardless of the inaccuracies, the music is great and the film provides a small glimpse into the scene at the Bowery club. Alan Rickman is wonderfully droll and captures the spirit of Hilly. Nice seeing a few old rockers pop up in cameos. Would have been nice to see more character development and have the bands that helped kick off the club and the punk scene be portrayed more than cardboard cut-outs. You can practically smell the stale beer and pee. I would suggest reading Legs McNeil's, "Please Kill Me" to supplement the film's account of the mid 70's NY music scene. Some casting was spot on, but the Lou Reed scene was pathetic and the actor was horrible. I like Justin Bartha, as well, but Stiv Bators was hardly adorable. The wigs were ridiculous too.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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