What Happened to Kerouac? (1986)

What Happened to Kerouac?

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Movie Info

Jack Kerouac was the father of the Beat Generation, author of On The Road and pivotal figure of the 1950s countercultural revolution. This portrait shows us what happened when fame and notoriety were thrust upon an essentially reticent man.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By: ,
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 5, 2003
Runtime:
Shout! Factory

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Critic Reviews for What Happened to Kerouac?

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

September 13, 2007
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for What Happened to Kerouac?

I've been all hot for documentaries lately so I really wanted to check this one out, being as it focused on Jack Kerouac, a favourite writer of mine and a leader of the storied Beat generation in America during the 40s and 50s. The film alternates between interviews with the people (mostly other writers of the same generation) who knew him best including Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and William S. Burroughs, it also operates with still photographs and some film footage, and (thankfully) represents well Jack's actual writing by including several recordings of him reading passages of prose and poetry, set to various images indicative of his middle-class American background. What Happened to Kerouac isn't an exceptionally well-made documentary, but it is effective in what it tries to do and respectful to its subject. The interviews are all insightful and the accounts they give of living with Jack are often very entertaining. It's great to hear the recordings included - Kerouac's writing an undeniably rhythmic, free-flowing nature that comes across in his jazzy, energetic reading of it. This is a documentary anyone should see who is a fan or has read any of Kerouac's work, or is interested the Beat generation (and how can one not be, really?), but there's not much here for anyone else.

drago25
Christopher Mercer

Super Reviewer

A slightly unfocused documentary, but as a fan of the subject, I found it appealing anyway. There are great moments in some of the archive footage and interviews.

michaelcorleone
Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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