5.8/10
539
9 user 12 critic

Heart Beat (1980)

The life and friendship between the icons of the Beat Generation - Neal Cassady, Carolyn Cassady and Jack Kerouac.

Director:

John Byrum

Writer:

John Byrum
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Nolte ... Neal Cassady
Sissy Spacek ... Carolyn Cassady
John Heard ... Jack Kerouac
Ray Sharkey ... Ira
Ann Dusenberry ... Stevie
Margaret Fairchild Margaret Fairchild ... Mrs. Kerouac
Tony Bill ... Dick
Mary Margaret Amato ... Waitress
Kent Williams ... Ogden
Susan Niven Susan Niven ... Ogden's Secretary
Marcia Nasatir ... First Receptionist
Mickey Kelly Mickey Kelly ... Second Receptionist
Luis Contreras ... Mexican Junkie
Sharon Lee Sharon Lee ... Blonde in Car
Stephen Davies ... Bob Bendix
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Storyline

The life and friendship between the icons of the Beat Generation - Neal Cassady, Carolyn Cassady and Jack Kerouac.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They shocked us. They outraged us. They didn't do anything wrong. They just did it first.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 September 1980 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Herzschläge See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beat Legend William S. Burroughs visited the set one day, and wrote about it in 'Rolling Stone' magazine, feeling "the past hung in the air" due to the realism in the film. When sitting with Nick Nolte who played Neal, Burroughs "felt Neal sitting there in his cheap 1950s suit with the sleeves pulled up." (source: 'Literary Outlaw - The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs'.) See more »


Soundtracks

THE TWIST
Written by Hank Ballard
Performed by Hank Ballard
Courtesy of Gusto Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heart Beat a masterpiece? Never...
25 August 2008 | by jtdeclercqSee all my reviews

I am amazed that so many people on this forum rate this movie as the pan-ultimate film regarding the 'Beat generation'. One comment even goes as far to state that "to a Kerouac/Cassady fan and fan of that era ( late 40s early 50s ) this is pure gold".

Why, I wonder. Because as far as a depiction of reality goes (and reading the raving messages on this forum to many the essence of this film is a fair picture of what actually took place), this film is a travesty if ever there was one. In my files I have (the translation of) an article written by Kenneth Turan in 1979 which contains an interview with the then 55 year old Carolyn Cassady. She says that when she first read the script (by John Byrum), she was taken aback by the untruthfulness's of it. Facts were distorted, characters twisted, and reading some of the dialogues, she said to herself: come off it, this is a sham! However, she was paid 70.000 dollars plus 2,5 percent of the nett turnover, which was as good deal as she might have expected, and soon enough she took to the script, false as it may have been. And why? "If this had been my real life, I'd have been satisfied with it". Also, she loves what Sissy Spaceck did with her part: "I am the true heroin of the story, what more could one want?" So much for character.

Interestingly, Alan Ginsberg refused to cooperate with the film and forbade the producer even to use his name or quote from his poetry. So the Alan Ginsberg character in the movie is called Ira Streiker.

I am 60 years old and read On the Road for the first time in 1969. Last month, forty years later, I read it again. It was a weird experience... Kerouac's prose is baffling, he truly was a great writer, but the experiences he describes in On the Road have no meaning whatsoever. Actually, Neal Cassady is a low life (Kerouac more than once refers to him as "a rat"). And no biopic can change that.


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