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The Beaver Trilogy (2000)

In 1979, filmmaker Trent Harris visits the small town of Beaver, Utah to film a talent show. Impressed by a performer called Groovin' Gary, he recreates Gary's act in 1981 with Sean Penn and in 1985 with Crispin Glover.


Trent Harris


Trent Harris
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Groovin' Gary Groovin' Gary ... Self (segment "The Beaver Kid") (archive footage)
Sean Penn ... Groovin' Larry (segment "Beaver Kid 2") (archive footage)
Crispin Glover ... Groovin' Larry (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Stefan Arngrim ... Merril (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
John Bluto John Bluto ... Byron (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Ken Butler ... Terrance (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Lila Waters Lila Waters ... Mother (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Shane McCabe Shane McCabe ... Mr. Larson (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)
Elizabeth Daily ... Carrissa (segment "The Orkly Kid") (archive footage)


It begins in 1979 with the chance meeting in a Salt Lake City parking lot where filmmaker Trent Harris is approached by an earnest small-town dreamer from Beaver, Utah. Harris jumps at the chance when the young man invites him to come to the small town of Beaver to film a talent show. At the show, the man dons black leather, blond wig and performs in drag as Olivia Newton John. Harris captures it all on tape. What unfolds is a strange, funny, and ultimately poignant portrait of a true outsider. Not willing to let the story go, Harris then created a dramatic piece, "Beaver Kid 2" based on the documentary. This interpretation, shot in 1981 on a home video camera with a budget of $100, features the young Sean Penn as the Beaver Kid re-enacting the same scenario. Still possessed, Harris then rewrote the script, cast Crispin Glover in the lead, and in 1985 created the final segment, "Orkly Kid" as an American Film Institute project. The three pieces were re-edited, compiled, and finally ... Written by Strand Releasing <strand@strandreleasing.com>

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Did You Know?


The three short films were originally shot 16 to 21 years before their release: "The Beaver Kid" in 1979, ""Beaver Kid 2" in 1981 and "The Orkly Kid" in 1985. See more »


Referenced in Beaver Trilogy Part IV (2015) See more »


Please Don't Keep Me Waiting
Performed by Crispin Glover
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User Reviews

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighly recommended.....
9 December 2009 | by afkeeganSee all my reviews

Yes, this gets the full ten stars. It's plain as day that this fill is genius. The universe sent Trent Harris a young, wonderfully strange man one day and Harris caught him on tape, in all that true misfit glory that you just can't fake. Too bad it ended in tragedy for the young man, if only an alternate ending could be written for that fellow's story. The other two steps in the trilogy do retell the story, with Sean Penn and Crispin Glover in the roles of the young men, respectively. The world is expanded upon and the strangeness is contextualized by the retelling, giving us a broader glimpse into growing up weird in vanilla America. Recommended for anyone and everyone!

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20 January 2001 (USA) See more »

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