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Beat


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Product Details

  • Actors: Courtney Love, Kiefer Sutherland, Lisa Sheridan, Patricia Llaca, Steve Hedden
  • Directors: Gary Walkow
  • Writers: Gary Walkow
  • Producers: Alain Silver, Alejandra Cárdenas, Andrew Pfeffer, Antonio Zavala Kugler, Avi Lerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 15, 2002
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006HAXZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,279 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Beat" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Courtney Love, Daniel Martinez, Kiefer Sutherland, Kyle Secor, Norman Reedus, Ron Livingston - Director: Gary Walkow

Customer Reviews

I have to admit I am huge Courtney Love fan.
T. Medina
So, let me just cover my tail by saying you won't be blown away by the ending.
Cosmoetica
I liked Norman Reedus in this movie, but it wasn't very well written.
Amy E. Moran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jones. on June 27, 2004
Format: DVD
This film could have been subtitled 'The story of Joan Vollmer', as it is based around her last months before William S Burroughs - her husband - shot her.
Courtney Love does much to glamorise a pretty much unknown beat legend character, and provides a languorous air as she floats between scenes as the estranged Mrs Burroughs.
However, for me, the story veers too much from the truth to order to create a mainstream product. This is a pity when you are dealing with real lives and real literary history.
The disintegrating, complex relationship between the married couple would have sufficed for an interesting enough story for a Beat fan, but may not have provided much 'spice' for the public.
In this version of events, Joan's use of benzedrine (speed) is played down and her rampant addiction and resulting degeneration is never explored, this could be because of the intended general american audience.
I'm not too sure of the whole Lucien affair thing either...
At the closing credits, you're left with a feeling that perhaps Joan Vollmer may have emerged alongide the greats of the beat movement had she not been killed.
In fact, she may not have lasted much longer on her own as alcoholism, the effects of her addiction, drinking and a long-standing illness began to overtake her.(...) pretty much covers it.
One final note for Burroughs fans looking to buy - all the actors do a great job of each character, Keifer Sutherland puts some effort in with the mannerisms and delivery (+ a spot-on wardrobe) in the crucial role.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Kajcienski on January 13, 2007
Format: DVD
As usual, Reedus delivers better acting than most in the movie, yet he forgoes due credit lack of a bigger name. Definitely an intriguing movie. Sutherland does a good job as always. Courtney Love is slightly distracting.

I'd reccommend this if you're interested in the subject, or would like to see more of the phenomenal Norman Reedus. I've yet to see him perform poorly in any movie, regardless of the audience or the budget of the film.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Medina on February 10, 2004
Format: DVD
I have to admit I am huge Courtney Love fan. I have really enjoyed her in 200 cigarettes and The people vs Larry Flint where she proved to everyone that she can indeed act. I have to admit that I am not very familiar with the whole beat generation,but I have read the works of Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Keurorac. I didn't find out about this movie untill recently, andu assumed that Courntey as Mr. Burroughs wife, would be a minial role. To my suprise she is pretty much a central character of the movie. I feel that the movie had some wonderful cinematography, but the acting was a little bit low keyed for all those involved. Still for any enthusiasts of Courtney Love its a must. She played her part well and I am afraid that the subtly in her characters experession through out the film may have either been intentional or chalked up to poor directing. In any case the film is definitely worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By scwolfe on April 4, 2014
Format: DVD
I stumbled upon Beat searching for something to watch through my Roku. It has the artistic quality of the best indie films. The cinematography is stunning, the story very deep. Courtney Love and Kiefer Sutherland are phenomenal.

If your looking for the typical "movie" with gratuitous sex and/or car chases, Beat is not for you. If you like artistic, real-life films, this is a must see!
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Format: DVD
Although this is not a great film, "Beat" is better and more engaging than I thought it would be. I've never been a fan of William S. Burroughs (I read Naked Lunch and hated it), but this film is really about his wife, Joan (Courtney Love), who I knew nothing about before seeing this film, other than that she was killed in the bizarre stunt portrayed at the beginning and end of the film. "Beat" depicts Joan as the center of a small group of artistic, self-destructive friends who include famous writers Allan Ginsberg and William Burroughs (who Joan marries and has two children with, despite his open homosexuality). Before her death, Joan serves as long-suffering wife, friend, and unrequited love object for the three men who make up the dysfunctional little clique.

What's interesting about Courtney Love is that a woman who has such an over-the-top, larger-than-life persona can actually appear very subtle as a film actress. In the late 90's, after her (deservedly) praised performance in "The People Vs. Larry Flynt", Courtney Love actually had a shot at a successful film acting career. "Beat" is the first time I think I've ever seen her playing a true romantic lead, and I was surprised by how well she does here. Courtney Love is not a conventional beauty, but with her wide, expressive mouth, husky voice, and air of mystery, she is believable playing a woman who served as a muse and object of desire for a small group of creative friends, two of which ended up famous for their contributions to the "beat" generation of writers.

If Courtney had been able to maintain her sobriety and sanity, she could have emerged as a great character actress. This film offers a glimpse of what might have been.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2010
Format: DVD
I will openly admit that I don't know a lot about the Beat poets -- romantic or classical poets are more my type.

So I don't know EVERYTHING that is wrong with "Beat," a movie that chronicles the dramatic crumble of William Burroughs' marriage to Joan Vollmer. But I do know what the movie's problems are -- the acting is patchy, the story meanders, and it's hard to care about the dying marriage of two people who don't even share the screen for most of the movie.

Two years ago, William Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) and his common-law wife Joan Vollmer (Courtney Love) helped Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus) after Carr killed a hanger-on who had sexually assaulted him. Now Carr is back, and he's apparently in love with Joan but not sure if he wants to also bring along her kids.

So while Burroughs goes on a vacation with a boyfriend, Joan impulsively goes off with Carr and Allen Ginsberg (Ron Livingston), and begins to seriously consider leaving her husband. Of course, it inevitably leads to tragedy... and since they show it in the very first scene, I'll just say that it involves a "William Tell act."

Anyone hoping for a cinematic dash of beat flavor is going to cry after they see this movie -- the beat movement and their work is barely touched on. It's like the producers heard, "Real life accidental death/possible murder by famous figure!" and decided to make a movie about it without knowing much about any of the people involved.

In fact, most of the movie is a slow, rather dreary trip through the Mexican forests, where people talk and occasionally kiss; and we have some brief glimpses of Burroughs trying to cuddle his boyfriend in a dingy bedroom, as well as sepia-toned flashbacks.
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