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Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.

Director:

Walter Salles

Writers:

Jack Kerouac (based on the novel by), Jose Rivera (screenplay by)
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Popularity
3,840 ( 297)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Riley ... Sal Paradise / Jack Kerouac
Garrett Hedlund ... Dean Moriarty / Neal Cassady
Kristen Stewart ... Marylou / LuAnne Henderson
Amy Adams ... Jane / Joan Vollmer
Tom Sturridge ... Carlo Marx / Allen Ginsberg
Alice Braga ... Terry / Bea Franco
Elisabeth Moss ... Galatea Dunkel / Helen Hinkle
Danny Morgan ... Ed Dunkle / Al Hinkle
Kirsten Dunst ... Camille / Carolyn Cassady
Viggo Mortensen ... Old Bull Lee / William S. Burroughs
Ximena Adriana Ximena Adriana ... Oaxacan Girl
Sarah Allen ... Vicki
Clara Altimas ... Newlywed Woman
Leif Anderson ... Chevy Owner
Ricardo Andres Ricardo Andres ... Terry's Father
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Storyline

Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty's free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Traveling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The best teacher is experience.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

France | USA | UK | Brazil | Canada | Argentina

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

23 May 2012 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

En el camino See more »

Filming Locations:

Bridge City, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€758,304 (France), 27 May 2012, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,550, 21 December 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$717,753, 28 April 2013
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sal Paradise is presented as the typical Hollywood stereotype of a writer: a thin, wan, introverted spectator of life; a wallflower who sits in the corner writing about the adventures of others, and is drawn into them reluctantly himself. But Jack Kerouac was a star athlete with an imposing physical presence who went to Columbia University on a football scholarship (after turning down offers from Boston College and Notre Dame). In the book, Kerouac's avatar Sal Paradise begins as a neophyte to the "beat" lifestyle but embraces it wholeheartedly and jumps in with both feet. In fact, the idea of experiencing life in every way imaginable rather than watching from the sidelines is his intent from the beginning and the whole point of the book. See more »

Goofs

Among Sal's books is a copy of Saul Bellow's "Seize the Day", which was first published in 1956. See more »

Quotes

Dean Moriarty: Alas, alas, Sal. It's not me, I'm drunk. But my soul talking direct soul language, so to speak, to my deepest blood brother and holy goof, that's you. And to be formal and analytical about it, let me objectify the characteristics I miss the most of you. Number 1 your conversation. Number 2 your brotherly smile, man. But I shall go on, so to close and get the gist Denver waits for you. Carlo in his damp grotto and clowned misery to use a paradox of expression waits for you, so get on it! Be ...
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Alternate Versions

The film was re-edited for North American release following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and its French theatrical release because, according to director Walter Salles, that version was "rushed". The new cut is thirteen minutes shorter but contains more scenes and Salles says he has no preference between the two. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2012 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Disorder At The Border
Performed by Coleman Hawkins and his orchestra
Written by Coleman Hawkins (as Coleman Randolph Hawkins)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Revisionist treatment with pluses and minuses
15 July 2012 | by aayoungSee all my reviews

There are very few works of 20th-century American literature that can be called indispensable to our understanding of our culture. And one of these few is Jack Kerouac's On the Road. As everyone knows, it's the thinly-veiled autobiographical account of Kerouac and his friends in their pointless but exuberant adventures across America. For 50 years, it's been waiting to be made into a movie. Now, at last.

So, everyone already knows the story… well, no; chances are, if you're like me, you read the book and yet remember almost nothing of the story. The book burns through its shreds of storyline as if they were just tinder for the blaze of its energy; the real fuel is the pacing, even with all its redundancy. It's the momentum that sucks us into the breathless chaos of Kerouac's world. We come away impressed by the energy, not the content.

Film could certainly have been used to amplify this effect, but this is not that film. Instead, we have a more conventional treatment, focusing on character development. It's a nice production, with an attractive cast. But the story comes at us very differently from the book experience. The manuscript has been rewritten to add breathing space and objectivity. We see Sal Paradise, only half-formed at the start of the story, pull himself together to become a serious writer. We see the endlessly exuberant Dean Moriarity ultimately coming to grips with the progressive self- destruction attributable to his amorality, and suffering. This might be a fair reading of Kerouac's ultimate feelings about that part of his life, but it's not the feeling that Kerouac shares with us in the book. We have lost our innocence; our last chance to revisit it, even for a few hours, is taken away.

I'm not going to rage against this re-conception of the story, though, because it makes other changes from the book that might be improvements. Several episodes that were censored from the book are restored in the film. (Some discussion of this at http://www.univie.ac.at/Anglistik/easyrider/data/BeatEros.htm). So the movie is more historically accurate, and far more sexually explicit than the book. (That could also explain its delayed US release). In one poignant scene, Carlos Marx (Allen Ginsberg) is whining to Sal about how vulnerable he feels due to his poorly-returned love for Dean. To the best of my recollection, that conversation was not in the book (please tell me if you believe otherwise), but was expressed in a private letter from Ginsberg to Kerouac many years after the fact. This kind of thing changes the emotional flow of the story, certainly, but it adds depth, too.

Few of us will actually suffer nostalgia for the gritty overindulgences of the Beats. But remember, this came at a time when society was absolutely saturated with the message that everyone should be "normal," safe, predictable. Without the tiny minority of Beats attacking that message, and specifically without On The Road to chronicle that attack, the cultural revolution of the 1960's would have been even more difficult than it was, and perhaps less effective. Good, bad, or ugly, we must embrace this story.


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