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An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Crumb ... Himself
Aline Kominsky ... Herself (as Aline Crumb)
Charles Crumb ... Himself
Maxon Crumb ... Himself
Robert Hughes ... Himself
Martin Muller ... Himself
Don Donahue ... Himself
Dana Morgan ... Herself (as Dana Crumb)
Trina Robbins ... Herself
Spain Rodriguez ... Himself
Bill Griffith ... Himself
Deirdre English ... Herself
Peggy Orenstein ... Herself
Beatrice Crumb ... Herself
Kathy Goodell ... Herself
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Storyline

This movie chronicles the life and times of R. Crumb. Robert Crumb is the cartoonist/artist who drew Keep On Truckin', Fritz the Cat, and played a major pioneering role in the genesis of underground comix. Through interviews with his mother, two brothers, wife, and ex-girlfriends, as well as selections from his vast quantity of graphic art, we are treated to a darkly comic ride through one man's subconscious mind. As stream-of-consciousness images incessantly flow forth from the tip of his pen, biting social satire is revealed, often along with a disturbing and haunting vision of Crumb's own betes noires and inadequacies. As his acid-trip induced images flicker across our own retinas, we gain a little insight into this complex and highly creative individual. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

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Taglines:

Weird sex · Obsession · Comic books


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic sex-related cartoons, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures Classics

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Крамб  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$3,174,695
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During his years-long, money-starved struggle to make this documentary, director Terry Zwigoff was laid up in bed with crippling back pain and was suicidally depressed. See more »

Goofs

"San Francisco" is misspelled in the closing titles. The caption reads: "Max Crumb still lives in San Francicsco". See more »

Quotes

Peggy Orenstein: When I was about nine or ten, my brother used to collect Zapp comics. And when I saw those, they really, deeply, deeply terrified me. I was deeply upset. And I look at them, and thought, on some level, *this* is adulthood? This is what adult women are? This is what I grow up into? And it was horrifying.
Robert Crumb: Oh, my God!
Peggy Orenstein: And, I wonder if you think about the effect on people who read it, or what you're validating for boys...
Robert Crumb: I just hope that that, somehow, revealing that truth about myself is somehow ...
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Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake It and Break It
Composed by Friscoe-Clark
Performed by King Oliver & His Orchestra)
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
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User Reviews

Strange and interesting study of a warped genius
28 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Robert Crumb must have had a bellyful of people calling him a genius, but that's exactly what he is. Having grown up a bullied, miserable child - and an anachronism almost from the start, with his interests in pop culture ephemera and old-time music - in a dysfunctional family (his father was an overbearing tyrant, his mother an amphetamine addict, his older brother so obsessed with comics that he forces his siblings to draw them), Crumb escaped this drudgery by fleeing to Cleveland, where he first became a staff artist for a greetings card company, then one of their most innovative and prolific designers, before relocating to San Fransisco. His initial impetus was to "get some of that free love stuff", but his pen ran away with his thoughts and he wound up virtually launching the underground comics movement. Between 1968 and 1993, Crumb produced some of the funniest, most outrageous, licentious and flat-out brilliant comic book work of all time, and this film is an invaluable insight into the man behind the madness and the mayhem. Turns out Crumb, despite his bizarre appearance (he's stick thin, wears Coke-bottle spectacles and dresses like a character actor from a 1930s comedy) and sexual deviance (he likes nothing more than hefty haunches and big, strong legs in a woman), is something of an everyman - he's married, dotes on his understanding wife and gifted daughter, and feels just as alienated from the 'evils' of modern living as the rest of us sensitive intellectuals! At first glance, of course, Crumb is as weird as they come, but the sight of the aforementioned older brother Charles (a reclusive crank who rarely leaves his squalid bedroom, let alone the house) and younger brother Maxon (a haunted, bedraggled amateur mystic, given to sitting on beds of nails and begging on the street with a wooden bowl) throws the relative sanity of Robert into stark relief. One gets the impression that if Robert had not escaped, he'd have wound up suffering just as much as Charles and Maxon, possibly even more. This isn't easy viewing and the subjects are undeniably resistable, but it does offer a unique and enlightening glimpse into the reality of the old cliché about genius and madness walking hand-in-hand. Recommended.


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