31 user 17 critic

Beat (2000)

R | | Drama | 29 January 2000 (USA)
The story of writer William Seward Burroughs and his wife.


Gary Walkow


Gary Walkow
1 nomination. See more awards »





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


The story of writer William Seward Burroughs and his wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sex and Drugs before Rock and Roll



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 The phrase "and the hippos were boiled in their tanks" which comes from this story was the title of the unpublished novel by Kerouac and Burroughs about the David Kammerer murder.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 »


Lee: If you love your wife so much, why are you here with me?
William S. Burroughs: Love is not sex.
See more »


Version of Naked Lunch (1991) See more »


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

User Reviews

14 May 2003 | by j4bb3rw0ckySee all my reviews

Beat was quite possibly one of the most disappointing ventures I've yet encountered. Seeing it on the shelves at Hollywood Video, I promptly put down my other options and grabbed it up. It's rare that a movie about the Beats comes around, and this dharma bum wasn't about to pass it up...much to my chagrin. The movie first and foremost is just downright boring. (I guess I should take this opportunity now to say that I'm a huge student of the Beat Generation. Burroughs and Kerouac are two of my biggest influences in both poetry and prose.) The acting was lackluster with the exceptions of Kilmer's Burroughs and Livingston's Ginsberg (both were bloody perfect). I can't help but feel that Beat was beaten to death in the editing room. There was potential for a great script here, but it was the creative fecal matter of Gary "The Trouble with Dick" Walkow.

One final complaint that has nothing really to do seriously with the film: Would it be too much to ask for Gary to squeeze in more than 0.1 seconds of Jack?

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USA | Mexico



Release Date:

29 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beat - pahan syke See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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