Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2004)


Critic Consensus: Guerilla is a riveting documentary that chronicles in enlightening fashion the 1974 kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst.


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Movie Info

In 1974, young Patty Hearst became a media icon after she was kidnapped from her apartment by a group calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). At the time, Patty was an impressionable college student who happened to be the granddaughter of the infamous William Randolph Hearst. The SLA's demands on Hearst's family were unique; hoping to spark a class war in America, they instructed the Hearsts to make a multimillion dollar donation of food to the poor. But the story firmly imprinted itself in the history books when, two months after the initial abduction, Patty appeared to have joined forces with the SLA, and was caught on camera wielding a gun as the team robbed a bank. This documentary on Hearst's story offers some fascinating insights on what happened to her during her time with the SLA. Some startling footage has been unearthed, and some former members of the SLA come forward to give their accounts of the story. Hearst has subsequently enjoyed a post-kidnapping career as an actress, and has appeared in a number of films by the infamous "Pope of Trash" John Waters, whose 2000 film CECIL B. DEMENTED owes a sizable debt to Hearst's kidnapping tale.

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Critic Reviews for Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (17)

A mostly compelling and exceedingly fair-minded look back at the case.

Mar 25, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Fine as far as it goes -- a worthy lesson in counter-culture history and the rise of media hysteria.

Mar 25, 2005 | Rating: B-
Detroit News
Top Critic

A meticulous and often fascinating reconstruction of a chaotic time.

Jan 28, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

As an indicting work of journalism, it's very entertaining.

Jan 7, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

An engaging film, but it's a documentary and nothing more.

Dec 31, 2004 | Full Review…

A case study in cultural analysis that aims at too much and achieves too little.

Dec 31, 2004 | Full Review…

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