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Grand Theft Parsons (2003)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Comedy, Drama | 18 June 2004 (USA)
There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant... See full summary »

Director:

David Caffrey

Writers:

Jeremy Drysdale (story), David Caffrey (story) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jamie McShane ... Radio Announcer
Johnny Knoxville ... Phil Kaufman
Danielle Sapia ... Girl at Joshua Tree Inn
Gabriel Macht ... Gram Parsons
Robert Alan Beuth ... Reporter
Sara Arrington ... Crying Girl
Scott Adsit ... Music Expert
Mary Pat Gleason ... Nurse
David Caffrey ... TV Interviewer
Alexa Sheehan ... Nurse 2 (as Alexa Motley)
Wesley Mann ... Doctor
Marley Shelton ... Susie
Christina Applegate ... Barbara
Jim Cody Williams ... Truck Driver
Kay E. Kuter ... Undertaker
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Storyline

There are times when it's right and proper to simply bury the dead. This is not one of those times... Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his time; a bitter, brilliant, genius who knew Elvis, tripped with the Stones and fatally overdosed on morphine and tequila in 1973. And from his dying came a story. A story from deep within folklore; a story of friendship, honour and adventure; a story so extraordinary that if it didn't really happen, no one would believe it. Two men, a hearse, a dead rock star, five gallons of petrol, and a promise. And the most extraordinary chase of modern times. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A cracking movie featuring a rocker, a hippie, a corpse and a hearse. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug references and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A nagy hullarablás See more »

Filming Locations:

Cabazon, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The jacket that Johnny Knoxville wears in the movie is the same jacket that Phil Kaufman wore when he burned the body. See more »

Goofs

The motorcycle cop in the desert is riding a Kawasaki 1000 Police Special. This would not have been manufactured in 1973. See more »

Quotes

Phil Kaufman: What the hell are you doing?
Larry Oster-Berg: The steering lock is on!
Phil Kaufman: Well, turn it off.
Larry Oster-Berg: I can't. He's got the key!
Phil Kaufman: So we can escape, but we can only drive in a circle.
Larry Oster-Berg: Yes!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cannes Promo Reel Screened on Apple iBooks See more »

Soundtracks

Flying High
Words and Music by Country Joe McDonald (as Joe McDonald)
Performed by Country Joe and the Fish (as Country Joe & The Fish)
Licensed from and used by permission of Vanguard Records, A Welk Music Group Company
(P) Vanguard Records, a Welk Music Group Company
© 1967 Joyful Wisdom Music, BMI
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hilarious, heartwarming black comedy
18 April 2004 | by Dave_JenningsSee all my reviews

It may be about a stolen corpse, but ‘Grand Theft Parsons' is anything but morbid. It's a charming, heartwarming tale in which the central living character's integrity and loyalty goes beyond the grave – or rather, beyond the desert bonfire.

The film is loosely based on the true story of country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons and his road manager Phil Kaufman. When Parsons dies of a drug overdose, Kaufman is grimly determined to fulfil his late friend's wish to be cremated in the desert - even if that means stealing his coffin and evading a diverse posse of pursuers in a bright yellow hearse driven by an addled hippy.

Some have complained about the liberties taken with the true story of Parsons' incineration in the wilderness by Kaufman – but as the real Kaufman makes a cameo appearance in the film, one may assume that he didn't mind. In any case, the truth-bending is clearly acknowledged in captions at the start of the movie.

There are some truly superb performances. Johnny Knoxville proves that he can be much more than an annoying prankster with a thoroughly convincing portrayal of Kaufman, Christina Applegate is magnificently repellent as Parsons' avaricious ex-girlfriend, and Robert Forster lends a warm, weary dignity to the character of Parsons' father. Best of all, though, is Michael Shannon's hysterically funny turn as the hapless hippy hearse driver, gradually realising the terrible truth about the situation he's stumbled into.

It all adds up to a frequently hilarious and delightful film, hugely enhanced by a glorious soundtrack featuring plenty of the real Parsons.


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