5.6/10
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31 user 16 critic

Beat (2000)

The story of writer William Seward Burroughs and his wife.

Director:

Gary Walkow

Writer:

Gary Walkow
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Courtney Love ... Joan Vollmer Burroughs
Kiefer Sutherland ... William S. Burroughs
Lisa Sheridan ... Sadie
Patricia Llaca Patricia Llaca ... Mary (as Patricia De Llaca)
Steve Hedden Steve Hedden ... Pharmacist
Ron Livingston ... Allen Ginsberg
Norman Reedus ... Lucien Carr
Daniel Martínez ... Jack Kerouac
Kyle Secor ... Dave Kammerer
Pedro Gonzalez Pedro Gonzalez ... Knife Sharpener
Georgiana Sîrbu Georgiana Sîrbu ... Julie
Rene Rubio Rene Rubio ... Bill Jr.
Sam Trammell ... Lee
Alec Von Bargen ... Heard
Tommy Perna ... Dwight
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Storyline

The story of writer William Seward Burroughs and his wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sex and Drugs before Rock and Roll

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and elements of sex, drugs and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beat - pahan syke See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The trailer shows scenes not in the final version of the film. These seem to include scenes with Jack Kerouac and others from New York appearing only in brief flashback in the film. As well, a scene of William Burroughs reading a newspaper story to Joan about a fire at a zoo. The phrase "and the hippos were boiled in their tanks" which comes from this story was the title of the unpublished novel by Kerouac and Burroughs about the David Kammerer murder. See more »

Quotes

Joan Vollmer: Didn't you two bone up on your wilderness lore down there in the jungle?
Lee: The jungle was fucking ghastly
Joan Vollmer: Uh, I don't understand, the jungle was ghastly or the fucking was ghastly... or both?
See more »

Connections

Version of Naked Lunch (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Pordiosera de Amor
Music and Lyrics by Ramón Ayala
Performed by Ramón Ayala
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I love you like a hole in the head
9 August 2001 | by xokatyxoSee all my reviews

I wasn't expecting much (truth be told) but was quite pleasantly surprised. As much as history equates to fiction (and from what I've heard/read this movie must be taken as a work of near-fiction.. "sources" being what they are..) this story still made for a pretty good motion picture. Courtney Love is a very good actress, and not many parts is she better suited to than that of Joan Burroughs. I liked her performance. Keifer Sutherland also made a pretty convincing Bill. The guy that played Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus?) was also impressive.

As "interpretive" as the story was I didn't resent it as much as I thought I might. I imagine William Burroughs, were he still in the land of the living, might have had a few issues with this film but hey, movies always without fail in-one-way-or-another romanticize the truth (truth, truth.. mmmm.. ponder it) and the movie DID do that.. but not as grotesquely as it could've and for that, if nothing else, I liked it. Well-observed (in a secondary, nobody-here-was-actually-there, speculative kind of way) the story still flowed (aided by the, in my opinion, very good performances.) Keifer made William Burroughs seem to have emotions, and strong ones at that, which was interesting.. as you never really picture him like that. (Going by the tone of his spoken-word recordings maybe? the dour face? the slightly contemptible countenance? I don't know.. you just never think of him as the howl-at-the-moon type.. I think Keifer's attempt at humanizing him was quite admirable really.)

The script wasn't bad (could've been MUCH worse.. riddled with beatnik cliches..) there were no real cringe-worthy moments (no-one said anything to the effect of "are you hip to all that jazz" etc etc.. which was a relief.) I liked the movie overall. It's no major statement, and you'd do infinitely better to read some of the great biographies out there if you want an overview of the tale and the beats in general, but the movie is a harmless, and quite enjoyable, footnote.

I liked the quotes at the end (their attempt at a summery i suppose..) especially the gorgeous quote from Lucien Carr. Oh yes and Ron Livingston was also in fine form as poor old lovelorn Allen Ginsberg.


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