Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence....
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Neal Cassady is living the beat life during the 1940s, working at The Tire Yard and and philandering around town. However, he has visions of a happy life with kids and a white picket fence. When his girlfriend, Joan, tries to kill herself he gets scared and runs away. But when Joan reappears will he take the chance at that happiness, or will he turn his back on it?Written by
The letter, on which this movie is based, was referred to by its author Neal Cassady, and its recipient Jack Kerouac as "the Joan Anderson letter" (even though the only extant fragment more prominently and dramatically dealt with a different girlfriend of Neal's at the time, nicknamed Cherry Mary). This letter, written in December 1950 about events in Cassady's life from the summer thru Christmas of 1945, was "lost" circa 1954 and 1955. But before that happened, a five thousand word fragment (on which this movie is based) had been copied (retyped) likely by Kerouac himself, and was subsequently published in 1964 in a small San Francisco literary magazine called "Notes From Underground", then again later in Cassady's posthumous autobiography "The First Third" (beginning "To have seen a specter isn't everything ..."). The entire sixteen thousand word letter by Cassady - which Kerouac had praised as a turning point in his approach to writing - was never seen again after 1955 - and consequently became something of a Holy Grail in the Beat world. Miraculously, in 2012, the entire letter was found after nearly sixty years in old boxes that had been stored since being rescued from the Sausalito publisher Golden Goose's garbage when it folded in 1955. It's set for auction on December 17, 2014. See more »
The epilogue notes that Neal Cassady died in 1968 at the age of 42. In actuality, he died four days before his 42nd birthday. See more »
You should have seen all you brought down. Sirens, ambulances, doctors, nurses, butchers, bakers. Some big fear you brought down Miss Joan.
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One of the most moving letters of our time, reflected on film...
When I first read this letter written by Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac, I was moved beyond words. I had to read it over a few more times to really absorb the feel of it. There are two amazing things about it: 1.) That this man had such an amazing talent for writing & 2.) That this man actually LIVED like that!
I was curious to see what the movie would do to the letter (movies are rarely ever as good as the written form), and what I saw blew me away! While I have noticed that the real Neal Cassady is more "jittery & wirey" (the man never sat still!), the actor Thomas Jane gave a remarkable performance as Neal! I felt that every actor was perfectly fitting to their respective part, and that the story was told with atypical accuracy!
I'm sure that my copy is going to break soon, seeing as I keep playing it over and over again. Being a beat girl at heart, this has become my absolute favorite movie of all time.
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