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Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place (2011)

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A freewheeling portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' fabled road trip across America.

Writers:

Alex Gibney (screenplay), Alex Gibney | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Stanley Tucci ... Narrator
Jim Meskimen ... Zonker (voice)
Veronica Taylor ... Jane Burton (voice)
Timothy Leary ... Himself (archive footage)
Jerry Garcia ... Himself (archive footage)
Jack Kerouac ... Himself (archive footage)
Ken Kesey ... Himself
Allen Ginsberg ... Himself
Phil Lesh Phil Lesh ... Himself (archive footage)
Andrea Cirie ... Gretchen Fetchen (voice)
Terry Gross Terry Gross ... Herself - Interviewer (voice)
Bob Weir ... Himself (archive footage)
Neal Cassady Neal Cassady ... Himself
Grateful Dead ... Themselves (archive footage) (as The Warlocks)
Bill Kreutzmann ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A freewheeling portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' fabled road trip across America.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content, language and some nudity
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Magic Bus See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,367, 7 August 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$153,943, 30 October 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ken Kesey's original crew of self-proclaimed "Merry Pranksters" shot about 40 hours of 16-mm film in an unfinished project. Reportedly, Kesey several times showed all 40 hours - unedited - before he stored the film cans in Eugene, Oregon. They were rusting away until saved by the documentary directors, who first discovered they existed in 2004. See more »

Quotes

Ken Kesey: What it meant, was that everybody had to consider a new way for things to be. Don't you know that we're all one? The deeper I got into it, the more I realized it was a different force working. The only big mistake we made, as a force, was thinking for a while that we were going to win. We developed vested interests in the victory to come. We begin to parcel off into little groups, whether it's feminism or politics. For money, religion, whatever it is; everybody is jumping up and down in front ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Roth Show: The New York City Way (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

King Of The Road
Written by Roger Miller
Published by Sony/ATV Tree Publishing
Performed by Roger Miller
Courtesy of Mercury Records under license from Universal Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great footage, interesting story, not long enough
12 July 2011 | by goodbyeenemyairshipSee all my reviews

I only had 2 issues with the film as presented - 1) the film moves at a breakneck pace trying to cram what was likely hundreds of hours of film into 90 minutes; I wanted many scenes to last longer - 2) I would've liked a 'where are they now' sort of bookend for more of the pranksters (only Kesey's and Cassady's post-prankster lives are detailed).

I thought the footage was gorgeous - the film must've been well taken care of over the years. It was really fascinating to see America circa 1964 in full color (most footage from that era is black & white).

I want to re-read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test after buying this DVD and refer back and forth. It really does breathe new life into Tom Wolfe's book; although, the film stands on its own.

One of the most fascinating segments of the film was early on when they delved into how Kesey was turned onto LSD. They describe the whole experience and provide audio recordings taken as Kesey was under the influence in a hospital where LSD experiments were being conducted.

I understand many will take issue with the pro-drug message, but whether you like it or not, the subject of the film and the footage itself is a big part of history. There is something to learn and appreciate no matter where you stand.


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