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CBGB


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Justin Bartha
  • Directors: Randall Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Xlrator
  • DVD Release Date: December 31, 2013
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00F3TD8QQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,798 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Alan Rickman stars as legendary NYC club owner Hilly Kristal, who during the 1970s, wanted to create a venue for country, bluegrass and blues music (thus the name CBGB). When those acts became difficult to book, he shifted the club's focus to local bands playing original music, launching the careers of Patti Smith, Blondie, the Talking Heads and the Ramones and helping to define New York's punk scene and changing the face of music.

Customer Reviews

Their work and artistic success is the real tribute to Hilly Kristal.
CL
This film gives you a sense of time and place and to feel what it was like to be in one of these clubs.
David Baldwin
It is a pretty good representation of the times and is a very entertaining movie with some great music.
Darren O'Neill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. BAILEY on October 12, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
No Ramones music, even though they were a large part of the story. But don't blame the film makers. Joey, Johnny, and DeeDee are gone, and a couple of their family members have control of the Ramones catalog. Pissed that they didn't get to "approve" the story, they refused to grant rights. So very sad, considering how many new fans would have been introduced to The Ramones, my favorite American rock band of all time.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By ShowBizBuff on November 29, 2013
Format: DVD
Rupert Grint. I just think he's SUCH a good actor so far beyond Ron Weasley. And I think I'd watch anything Alan Rickman was in, period. Which leads me to CBGB, a film I wasn't sure about - I haven't always been a big fan of the punk music scene, and that's an understatement - but this was actually a fun, funny, and truly entertaining movie about the infamous New York City club that gave many (MANY) new bands (punk and otherwise) their first chance at public exposure back in the 1970s ... and about the man who started it, the flaky, cranky, foul-mouthed, yet utterly loveable Hilly Kristal (Rickman).

A man of dubious talents who already has two bankruptcies under his belt, Hilly borrows money from his mother to open a club in the Bowery that will cater to the new, upcoming big trend in music: Country, Bluegrass, and Blue (which is how the club got its name, CBGB, an acronym for the music he wanted to showcase). The acts that came along, however, were more rock, hard rock, and punk oriented, but provided they played by Hilly's one rule - ALL original music, no covers or retreads of established hits - he booked acts he thought had potential (turns out, he thought MANY of them had potential). As the club gave birth to acts like The Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, The Dead Boys, The Police and more, it become THE place for underground bands wanting their voices heard to be played ... and THE place to be if you were cool, for soon Hilly's club becomes packed wall to wall with people, the club itself gaining national attention as some of its acts got signed and become superstars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Darren O'Neill TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 19, 2014
Format: DVD
Sometimes there's a force so strong that it's going to find a way to break through no matter what and in this case that is punk music. Sometimes you just have to persevere, be in the right place and the right time and take "yes" for an answer and in this case that is Hilly Kristal. Kristal stated the famed CBGB club because he thought country music was going to be the next big thing. CBGB actually stands for Country, Bluegrass & Blues and that is what Kristal had in mind for the club.

What turned out instead to play were a bunch of raw punk bands and Kristal was smart enough to ride the wave and let these bands play. Huge acts like The Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones and The Police got their start at CBGB and have credited Kristal with being instrumental in launching the punk scene.

The movie isn't a documentary, so don't expect it to be. It is a pretty good representation of the times and is a very entertaining movie with some great music. I think even people who aren't fans of the punk scene would enjoy watching this movie as it's much more about the people surrounding the club and a story of Hilly Kristal who went through a couple of bankruptcies before hitting it big with the club.

Overall I'd say this is a must watch for anyone that loves punk music and music in general.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Anderson on January 30, 2014
Format: DVD
This was just a fun movie in general. Fast paced,entertaining and the list of familiar actors is also quite good.If you're a young kid and are new to punk rock I suppose this would be just as good of place to start as any considering a lot of the bands that helped make it what it is in NYC at the time play their part in this movie. The lack of Ramones songs is a disappointment but I guess they did what they could to make up for it with Joey's solo stuff.I read one review that complained about the lack of character development. I personally don't believe it's all that necessary. If you are familiar with punk or CBGB's in any way then you've already heard or watched the stories or if you were one of the lucky ones (unlike myself) lived them. If you are looking for something containing more facts and a little more in depth then check out some of the many documentaries that include the history of this legendary place. If you were to try to make a film like this with extreme "depth" then you'd probably have to make it a regular series on television to get all the stories out of it.haha!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul White on January 21, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Heard about this one from a local DJ (Dan Reed, WXPN, Philadelphia) when he was talking live with Chetah Chrome (Dead Boys band - played very well by Rupert Grint) one recent afternoon, and decided to check this movie they were talkin' about out. So glad I did! It chronicles the endeavors of Hillel Crystal (Hilly) and the run-down joint he buys that eventually becomes the infamous CBGB. I had NO IDEA of just how many bands this man helped become at least brought out of obscurity if only for a while, not to mention the many punk and rock acts that eventually went on to become very famous (and very rich) because of his vision in that dirty, leaky, grungy, poorly-lit, broken down club. Hilly's true talent in my opinion was that he was able to hear a bands musical chops, even in their early days, despite what they looked like or how they acted. You'll see several familiar faces in this one, and some really good actors and actresses that portray these bands. Hat's off to you, Hilly! Thanx, man. Thanx A LOT!
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