The Beaver Trilogy (2001)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In 1979, while working as a cameraman for a local news program in Salt Lake City, Trent Harris made the acquaintance of a genial but eccentric entertainer from the nearby town of Beaver, UT, who called himself Groovin' Gary. Harris' experiences with Groovin' Gary inspired three different short subjects, and The Beaver Trilogy collects Harris' three Groovin' Gary films into one feature presentation. In 1979's The Beaver Kid, viewers are introduced to Groovin' Gary, the self-proclaimed "Rich Little of Beaver," as he shows off his car (named after Farrah Fawcett), does impressions, and plugs a talent show in which he'll be appearing. Gary's act turns out to be a full-drag (and painfully sincere) impersonation of Olivia Newton-John performing "Please Don't Keep Me Waitin'." Two years later, Harris made The Beaver Kid 2, essentially a satiric recreation of the first film, with Sean Penn (who had then only recently scored his first film role) playing Groovin' Larry (the real Gary had since chosen to distance himself from Harris and his documentary). Finally, 1985's The Orkly Kid features Crispin Glover (who later starred in Harris' Rubin and Ed) as Larry, an aspiring comic and entertainer from Orkly, IA, who bears a certain resemblance to Groovin' Gary. Larry feels he has a gift and a message he wants to share with the world, but his fellow citizens of Orkly aren't so sure they're ready for Larry's Olivia Newton-John tribute, eventually leading Larry to move on to the big city in hopes of making his dreams come true. Both The Beaver Kid and The Beaver Kid 2 were produced on color video (the latter on a reported budget of only one hundred bucks), while The Orkly Kid was filmed in 16 mm, with the support of the American Film Institute; the three shorts were transferred to 35 mm film for their release as The Beaver Trilogy.
Comedy , Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Sean Penn
as Groovin' Larry
Crispin Glover
as Groovin' Larry
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Beaver Trilogy

All Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 16, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A pervasive sense of visual madness ferments as the idea of originality collapses. This is the same kind of circularity that drives characters in Roman Polanski movies bonkers.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

A work of considerable ingenuity

Full Review… | August 14, 2009
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 10, 2003
Austin Chronicle

' with issues of spectatorship so brilliantly, that you emerge having learnt a lot about fiction, documentary, and yourself.'

June 13, 2002
Critical Eye

Audience Reviews for The Beaver Trilogy

In the late 70s, Trent Harris was testing out a camera for a TV station he worked for, and ran into a strange man who did impressions. The man later invited Harris to a talent show, in which he performed as Olivia Newton-John in full drag. This short documentary forms the first segment of the "The Beaver Trilogy." The second part is a cheaply made dramatic recreation of the events starring a young Sean Penn as the impersonator. The third is another dramatic recreation, this time starring Crispin Glover and featuring slightly higher production values and a little more story. It is all very weird. I also kinda liked it.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

I suppose that this is a part documentary as the first segment profiles a young man attempting to be dramatic into a camera. Sean Penn and Crispin Glover try to recreate the scene many years later with varying degrees of success. More special interest than anything worth remembering.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Must see.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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