6.8/10
9,023
39 user 38 critic

A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

In the 1970s and '80s, National Lampoon's success and influence creates a new media empire overseen in part by the brilliant and troubled Douglas Kenney.

Director:

David Wain
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Popularity
3,307 ( 326)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Gingerich ... Doug - Age 12
Morgan Gingerich ... Doug - Age 12
Annette O'Toole ... Stephanie Kenney
Harry Groener ... Harry Kenney
Martin Mull ... Modern Doug
David Wain ... Interviewer
Domhnall Gleeson ... Henry Beard
Will Forte ... Douglas Kenney
Ben F. Campbell ... Harvard Jester (as Ben Campbell)
Jon Klaft ... Preppy Student
Camille Guaty ... Alex Garcia-Mata
Brad Morris ... Peter Ivers
Carla Gallo ... Lucy Fisher
Beau Bassewitz ... Umpire
Rick Overton ... First Publisher
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Storyline

An old version of humorist Douglas Kenney tells the story of how he and Henry Beard parleyed their success in their campus magazine, Harvard Lampoon, into the commercial magazine, National Lampoon. Drawing upon their checkered lives and an aggressively puckish sense of humor, the pair created a publication that would redefine American comedy with outrageous drollery that grabbed the zeitgeist of the decade that expanded across various media. Unfortunately, for all his success, Doug Kenney with his overhanging insecurities, ego and irresponsible appetites began to consume him until he alienates everyone who ever cared and supported him even as they imitated him. In the end, this iconoclastic funnyman would come to a tragedy that comes when your comedy doesn't have enough distance. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If You Don't Watch This Movie, We'll Kill Will Forte. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine nutzlose und dumme Geste See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.90 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Mug that Doug shows Kathryn in L.A. is identical to the one that Conan O'Brien has had on his desk throughout his run as a Late Night Host. See more »

Goofs

The waterfall's water visibly jumps in the short time it is on screen although it is a supposed continuous shot. See more »

Quotes

Tom Snyder: Mr. Kenney, it's a fine line between being clever and offensive, isn't it?
Douglas Kenney: Look, if I could just say something in defense of National Lampoon for one moment...
Tom Snyder: Please.
Douglas Kenney: We come from a tradition of truth-tellers. A long time ago, there was someone else society found offensive. They thought that what he did was radical - dangerous. They persecuted him... and eventually killed him. Of course, I'm referring to Dracula.
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Crazy Credits

After the end credits have rolled, Martin Mull is shown singing the song "Time of My Life" with members of the cast. See more »

Connections

References The Adams Chronicles (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Blending Soul
Written by Leonard Michael Lenaburg and Michael Eugene Liggins
Performed by Soul Blenders
Courtesy of Fervor Records
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User Reviews

 
Wonderful film
26 January 2018 | by haring-hudsonSee all my reviews

David Wain tells a true story in a creative way, creating the kind of the film his subject would have written, although a little sadder. Every actor does a superb job, Will Forte hits the perfect melancholic note. Dom Gleeson as usual is excellent. This is a wonderful tribute to Doug.


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