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The Broken Tower (2011)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | 20 June 2011 (USA)
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A biography of American poet Hart Crane who committed suicide at the age of 32 by jumping off the steamship SS Orizaba.

Director:

James Franco

Writers:

James Franco, Paul Mariani (based on "The Broken Tower" by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Franco ... Hart Crane
Michael Shannon ... Emile
Richard Abate Richard Abate ... Father Crane
Betsy Franco ... Mother Crane
Paul Mariani Paul Mariani ... Alfred Stieglitz
Shandor Garrison Shandor Garrison ... Gorham Munson
Stacey Miller Stacey Miller ... Mrs. Cowley
Dylan Goodwin ... Young Truck Driver
John Morrow John Morrow ... Young Sailor
Ivo Juhani Ivo Juhani ... French Man in Library
Vince Jolivette Vince Jolivette ... American Man in Paris
Fallon Goodsen Fallon Goodsen ... American Woman in Paris
Caroline Aragon Caroline Aragon ... French Cafe Owner
Sebastian Celis Sebastian Celis ... Deckhand
Will Rawls Will Rawls ... Factory Worker
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Storyline

A look at the dreams, unapologetic love of men , manic highs and depressive, death-haunted lows of early 20th century rebellious, self-destructive visionary poet Hart Crane from his early years as the son of a wealthy Cleveland businessman through his sojourns in New York, Cuba and Paris. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Truth is Indecent.


Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Torre Quebrada See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in three countries and 30 locations in 15 days. See more »

Quotes

Hart Crane: Isadora Duncan was incredible. Magnificent! But the crowd, what a bunch of conservative bores. So after, she comes back, breast exposed, she tells them to all go home and read the Calamus section from Whitman.
Gorham Munson: I'm sure most don't even know Whitman.
Hart Crane: [laughing] It was, it was incredible! Breast hanging out! Nipple exposed! Telling them that - that truth isn't beautiful. That in fact, it's quite indecent.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Half in the Bag: The Disaster Artist (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Stumbling
Performed by Ray Miller & His Orchesra
Written by Zez Confrey (as Edward Confrey)
Published by EMI Catalog Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Old Time Victrola Music
See more »

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User Reviews

James Franco's impression of what Hart Crane was like
6 April 2012 | by jm10701See all my reviews

I must confess that I bought The Broken Tower for the wrong reason, because I read that James Franco did something in it that gay men do all the time but non-porn actors NEVER do on film, even openly gay actors in flagrantly gay movies. That bit was kind of a bust, but I ended up liking the movie anyway, for less sleazy reasons.

I know next to nothing about Hart Crane, and I don't know a lot more after having watched this movie. It's not a biography by any means. My best guess would be that it's James Franco's impression of what Crane was like, and that's what makes it interesting.

It's oddly directed, with very many long, hand-held, extreme closeups, filmed from about chest-level, of Franco (as Crane) walking the streets of various cities, usually looking up from just under his chin, but sometimes looking at the back of his head. That motif repeats often.

At least 70% of the spoken lines in the movie are Franco (always as Crane) reading Crane's poetry: one long scene reciting to an audience in a formal setting, and much poetry read as a sort of narration as various events unfold on screen. This movie definitely is not for people who hate poetry - Crane's poetry in particular.

It's definitely not for people who need action, romance, likable characters, or a clear story line in movies. It's for people who can sit through a 108-minute experimental movie without any particular expectation as to what it's going to be like.

It's for people who appreciate enthusiasm and passion in artists (I'm talking mainly about Franco, but it applies to Crane too, I suppose) even if the result is not particularly coherent. It's obvious that this was a labor of love for Franco, and that more than anything else is what makes it interesting.


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