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No No: A Dockumentary (2014)

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In the 1970s Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD and his outspoken style courted conflict and controversy, but his latter years were spent helping others recover from addiction. No No: A ... See full summary »

Director:

Jeffrey Radice (as Jeff Radice)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Larry Demery Larry Demery ... Himself
Dock Ellis Dock Ellis ... Himself
Ron Howard ... Himself
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Storyline

In the 1970s Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD and his outspoken style courted conflict and controversy, but his latter years were spent helping others recover from addiction. No No: A Dockumentary weaves a surprising and moving story of a life in and out of the spotlight. Written by No No Team

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Just Say No No!


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dockument See more »

Filming Locations:

Round Rock, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arts+Labor See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
The greatest ballplayer I've never heard of
18 September 2014 | by bburnsSee all my reviews

I'm in my mid-40's now, but I am still too young to have ever seen Dock Ellis play. In fact I had never even heard of him until I saw this movie. The famous no-hitter that gives the film its title was played 9 months before I was born. And his career ended in 1979 when I was too young to sit still long enough to watch a baseball game. Which is not to say I *shouldn't* have heard of him. The names of many of his contemporaries such as Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson are known to anyone with even a passing interest in baseball. And from what I saw in this film, Dock Ellis should be mentioned in the same breath.

From the 1980's onward, Ellis was known for his admission that he was addicted to drugs and alcohol throughout his baseball career. In 1970, he pitched a no-hitter while flying on LSD--which inspired Robin Williams to do a bit about it more than 30 years later. But when he was actually playing, he was known as the angry black pitcher who wore hair curlers and earrings--which inspired Johnny Carson to do a bit about it at the time.

But the film is not just about baseball and popular culture. "No No: A Dockumentary" succeeds in its goal of providing a complete portrait of this fascinating individual. It uses interviews of friends, family and even two of his ex-wives. And even though Ellis died during filming, director Jeff Radice was able to get a very thorough interview with Ellis, so you don't get the feeling that you're only learning about this guy from others' points of view. It starts with his teen years in Compton. Then it focuses on his 1968-1973 peak with the Pirates, his 1976 comeback with the Yankees, and the 1978-1979 end of his career with the Rangers. And then finally it focuses on the final 25 years of his life as the public face of drug addiction in sports and a drug counselor.

The things I like best about the movie are the interviews, which feel like you're sitting on the porch with your family swapping stories about your crazy cousin. And I like that Adam "King Ad-Rock" Horowitz is able to replicate the psychedelic rock and funk sounds from the period, even though the filmmakers couldn't get the rights to the big hits of the day.

The main problem I have with this film--and it's a minor quibble--is that of all the on-field stories about Dock, the only game they show using old TV footage is the no-hitter. All the rest are represented through still photographs or--in one case--a slide show of comic strip panels.

Dock Ellis was possibly the greatest pitcher of the early 1970's. And his influence extended into the greater culture at large--from his fashion sense that was replicated by the gangsta rappers of the early 1990's (Ice Cube in particular), to his becoming a leading advocate of drug rehabilitation programs in the Just Say No 1980's. The fact that I had never heard of him until now is frankly a shame. He was a great ballplayer, and once he sobered up he became a greater human being. "No No: A Dockumentary" is a testament to this. 8 out of 10.


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