6.7/10
11,036
56 user 38 critic

Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)

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1:12 | Clip
Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Director:

Art Linson

Writers:

Hunter S. Thompson (stories) (as Dr. Hunter S. Thompson), John Kaye (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Boyle ... Lazlo
Bill Murray ... Hunter S. Thompson
Bruno Kirby ... Marty Lewis
Rene Auberjonois ... Harris (as René Auberjonois)
R.G. Armstrong ... Judge Simpson
Danny Goldman ... Porter
Rafael Campos ... Rojas
Leonard Frey ... Desk Clerk
Leonard Gaines Leonard Gaines ... Super Fan
Otis Day ... Man #1 (as De Wayne Jessie)
Mark Metcalf ... Dooley
Jon Shear Jon Shear ... Billy Kramer (as Jon Matthews)
Joseph Ragno ... Willins
Quinn K. Redeker ... Pilot (as Quinn Redeker)
Lisa Taylor ... Ruthie
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Storyline

The deranged adventures of Gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson and his attorney Oscar Acosta, referred to in the movie as "Laslow". Thompson attempts to cover the Super Bowl and the 1972 Presidential election in his typical drug-crazed state, but is continually and comically sidetracked by his even more twisted friend Laslow. Allegedly based on actual events. Written by John Rumpelein <usviking@imageek.york.cuny.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone... but they've always worked for me. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bill Murray was the first actor to portray Hunter S. Thompson in a film or television feature. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 10 mins) When Thompson addresses the college students in the auditorium, he lights a joint with a Bic lighter. The scene took place in 1972, and the Bic disposable lighter wasn't invented until 1973. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: [into tape recorder] Forecast is for "bad craziness".
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Alternate Versions

The theatrical version featured music by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Credence Clearwater Revival. Due to music licensing issues, the VHS and DVD releases from Anchor Bay and Universal feature new music, replacing some of the artists on the original soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rushmore (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

All Along The Watchtower
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
See more »

User Reviews

 
Not true Thompson, but a fun film.
5 October 2000 | by jrabbit-2See all my reviews

Whether you like this film or not will depend heavily on how big of a Hunter S. Thompson fan you are.

On the plus side, this film is wickedly funny. Bill Murray (an actor who has been both great and terrible in his career) does a phenomenal job as the acid-drenched reporter, bringing chaos into the lives of the rigid and pretentious. The plot is peppered with "respectable" places being dragged into mayhem, and "respectable" folks trying (unsuccessfully) to cope behind plastic smiles.

It even ventures into some higher themes, such as innocent kids being jailed by a heartless criminal system, and Thompson's own struggles between being a practical reporter and a fun-loving idealist (notice how Lazlo repeatedly re-surfaces just when Thompson starts to take on "real" jobs).

It's biggest fault, however, was that it failed to achieve any of the higher accomplishments of HST's writings. What makes Thompson such a powerful writer (to me, anyway) is the way he'll often turn on a dime and deliver stunningly sober dialogs on the human animal and where he's gone wrong. Nestled in the midst of the wine, women, and song are soliloquies that drive home a more positive message, and none of those made it into this film (in fact, no significant chunks of actual text from HST's books appeared at all). It's like they shaved off the surface 50% of Thompson's work and discarded the rest.

Compare this to Fear and Loathing, which was darker and more counter-cultural, and contained whole narrations excerpted from the novel. The latter perhaps has less appeal to the average viewer, but I'd think more to a Thompson fan.

All-in-all, this film is a light-hearted romp into anarchy, and worth watching. But if you've never actually READ Thompson, do so, as this movie doesn't accurately represent him.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where the Buffalo Roam See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,750,593, 27 April 1980

Gross USA:

$6,659,377

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,659,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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