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A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)

TV-MA | | Biography, Comedy | 26 January 2018 (USA)
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
2,931 ( 563)
2 nominations. 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)
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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

Martha Smith, who played Babs in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), has a brief cameo as a bus tour guide at Universal Studios. This is a reference to the ending of Animal House, where Babs was said to have become a tour guide at Universal Studios. It's also referenced after the credits of several movies at the time in an advertisement for the studio tour ("Ask for Babs"). 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

Douglas Kenney: Between the magazine and the radio show, I barely had time for my other hobbies, like being a terrible husband.
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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 Saturday Night Live (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Double Vision
Written by Lou Gramm (as Louis Grammatico) and Mick Jones (as Michael L. Jones)
Performed by Foreigner
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable movie but a bit one eyed
28 January 2018 | by denzil-09434See all my reviews

This is a good movie. It's a story well told but it's certainly one sided. For one thing it ignores the fact that National Lampoon wasn't very funny. It is also a bit of a hatchet job on the parents and P J O'Rourke, whose least credit, as probably the funniest American print writer of the 20th century, is editor of NL.

Worth watching though.


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