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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?


Ryan Hurst who plays a biker in this film also played a biker in the FX television series Sons of Anarchy as Opie Winston. See more »


In an early scene when Hilly is scouting out locations, a bottle of Hendrick's Gin is clearly visible atop a garbage can beneath a no parking sign. Hendrick's wasn't introduced until 1999. See more »


Debbie Harry: New York has gorgeous garbage.
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 »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #7.150 (2013) 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

A Little Club That Could.. at least for a little while!
24 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Saw the CBGB Movie last night... Great job! no car crashes.. just Hilly's truck, no alien invasion, no love story unless you count the part with.. Well, I wont mention any names.. Just a story about a little club that could.. at least for a little while. Alan Rickman did capture the essence of Mr. K.. this is not a documentary so I did not mind the time line of certain things not being accurate, it was entertaining and if you were not fortunate enough to have been there back in the day you can still learn a thing or two about the beginnings of Punk Rock. Yes there were many bands that played that stage and some are upset for not being included.. perhaps writing scathing reviews.. I was happy to be there "cant all be rock stars" Great tribute to Hilly at the end when Talking Heads were added to R&R Hall of Fame. I loved it and do want to see it again!

15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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