4 user 3 critic

What Happened to Kerouac? (1986)

1:05 | Clip
Documentary explore the unfulfilled promise of Beat Generation icon Jack Kerouac, covering the period from the publication of his notorious novel On the Road in 1957 to his alcohol-related death 12 years later.


Jack Kerouac (works "On the Road", "Visions of Cody", "Desolation Angels", "Mexico City Blues" and "Dr. Sax and others")



Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Traces the Beats from Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac's meeting in 1944 at Columbia University to the deaths of Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs in 1997. Three actors provide dramatic ... See full summary »

Director: Chuck Workman
Stars: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Dennis Hopper
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A detective is assigned to track down and capture a crazed serial rapist.

Director: Charles F. Haas
Stars: Steve Cochran, Mamie Van Doren, Ray Danton
Documentary | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jack Kerouac was a Beat Generation writer who took the nation by storm upon the publication of his novel On the Road. Kerouac's legacy and influence are explained via interviews with ... See full summary »

Director: John Antonelli
Stars: Peter Coyote, Cindy Alwan, David Andrews
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An investigation of the Beat Generation.

Director: Janet Forman
Stars: Steve Allen, David Amram, Amiri Baraka
Pull My Daisy (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Milo is a railroad brakeman, his wife a painter. They have some poet friends who spend a good bit of time hanging out at their apartment. When Milo and his wife are visited by their bishop,... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie
Stars: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso
Howl (2010)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As Allen Ginsberg talks about his life and art, his most famous poem is illustrated in animation while the obscenity trial of the work is dramatized.

Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Stars: James Franco, Todd Rotondi, Jon Prescott
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Following Beat Poet Gregory Corso - literary compatriot of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs -- throughout Europe, discovering his past, and facing his death.

Director: Gustave Reininger
Stars: Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

William S. Burroughs: featuring never before seen footage as well as exclusive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues. Born the heir of the Burroughs' adding machine estate, he ... See full summary »

Director: Yony Leyser
Stars: Fred Aldrich, Laurie Anderson, Amiri Baraka
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A freewheeling portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' fabled road trip across America.

Directors: Alison Ellwood, Alex Gibney
Stars: Stanley Tucci, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary
D.O.A. (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A dim-witted busboy finds acclaim as an artist for a plaster-covered dead cat that is mistaken as a skillful statuette. The desire for more praise soon leads to an increasingly deadly series of works.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone
Beat (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The story of writer William Seward Burroughs and his wife.

Director: Gary Walkow
Stars: Courtney Love, Kiefer Sutherland, Lisa Sheridan


Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Corso Gregory Corso ... Himself
Jan Kerouac Jan Kerouac ... Herself
Herbert Huncke Herbert Huncke ... Himself
Fran Landesman Fran Landesman ... Herself
William F. Buckley ... Himself (archive footage)
Ed Sanders Ed Sanders ... Himself (archive footage)
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Edie Kerouac Parker Edie Kerouac Parker ... Herself
William S. Burroughs ... Himself (as William Burroughs)
Michael McClure Michael McClure ... Himself
John Clellon Holmes John Clellon Holmes ... Himself
Lawrence Ferlinghetti Lawrence Ferlinghetti ... Himself
Ann Charters Ann Charters ... Herself
Gary Snyder ... Himself
Neal Cassady Neal Cassady ... Himself (archive footage)


Documentary explore the unfulfilled promise of Beat Generation icon Jack Kerouac, covering the period from the publication of his notorious novel On the Road in 1957 to his alcohol-related death 12 years later.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An investigation of the king of the Beat Generation.


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


New York theatrical run 5/23/86; San Francisco 7/11/86. See more »

Alternate Versions

A shorter version of this documentary has aired on television under the title Kerouac (1985). This is not to be confused with Kerouac, the Movie (1985). See more »


References Port of Shadows (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Historical data
26 September 2004 | by malcolm-hartSee all my reviews

I was in the US in 1984 when I got wind of a party Allen Ginsberg was planning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of 'On The Road'. Allen was, at that time the head of the Jack Kerouac School Of Disembodied Poets at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado under the spiritual guidance of Chogyam Trungpa. I realized that this might well be the last occasion that what remained of the Beat Generation would be in the same place at the same time. In LA I enlisted the help of poet/journalist Lewis McAdams to pull together a little cash and a sympathetic crew to go and film the party. This we did. I was the Producer, Lewis conducted the interviews. After the shoot, Lewis and I collaborated on the script, copies of which I still have, sharing the credit. Try as we may,we were unable to raise the $100,000 to finish what we had started. Despite having all the interviews in the can, a robust script and Lionsgate Films as Executive Producer we couldn't raise a dime. That's how it was when I and my wife left for Europe. I was contacted by Richard Lerner, the DOP on the shoot. His father had died and left him a lot of money and he wanted to finish the Kerouac film. He and Lewis were going to do it themselves and I was not wanted. As Producer I had collected all the releases to the interviews which I sold to him. It's never pleasant when one's own idea and work is usurped by others but it happens in our industry. The boys were good enough to give me a credit buried in a long list as an Associate Producer. No mention of being the original Producer and co writer. Richard and Lewis were Kerouac sycophants. I think the movie would have been the better for my less sanctimonious, English curiosity.

30 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed