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Horns & Halos (2004)

James Hatfield , Sander Hicks , Michael Galinsky , Suki Hawley  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Hatfield, Sander Hicks, Stewart Bagwell, Randall Beek, The Rev. Billy
  • Directors: Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley
  • Writers: Suki Hawley
  • Producers: Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley, Danielle Schleif, David Beilinson, Jeff Sanders
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Go-Kart Films
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TT07I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,948 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Horns & Halos" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 11 deleted scenes
  • Two feature interviews with author James Hatfield
  • Extended interviews
  • Protest coverage
  • Short film: Ralph Nader's rally at Madison Square Garden
  • Protests at George W. Bush's inauguration
  • Performance footage of Sander Hicks and White Collar Crime: "God Is Kick Ass" and "Hi Mom"
  • Rogers' Reel to Reel profile on Horns and Halos at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival
  • Sander Hicks interview
  • KCET profile on Horns and Halos
  • WNYU feature radio interview with directors (60 min.)
  • Booklet insert with directors' statement, frequently asked questions about the film, and diary excerpts from Sander Hicks

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD captures the unlikely connection of three men. An ex-con biographer, a janitor turned publisher and U.S. President George W. Bush whose paths to power and popularity become tangled in the controversial book Fortunate Son. Incl. 11 deleted scenes Two feature interviews with author James Hatfield Extended interviews Protest coverage Short film: Ralph Nader's rally at Madison Square Garden Protests at George W. Bush's inauguration Performance footage of Sander Hicks and White Collar Crime: "God Is Kick Ass" and "Hi Mom" Rogers' Reel to Reel profile on Horns and Halos at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival Sander Hicks interview KCET profile on Horns and Halos WNYU feature radio interview with directors (60 min.)

Amazon.com

Horns and Halos is a fascinating, unexpectedly tragic story about one man's downfall in the brutal world of perception-driven media and politics. In the late 1990s, author James Hatfield wrote Fortunate Son, a biography of then-candidate George W. Bush that alleged, among other things, that the future president used cocaine during the '70s. St. Martin's Press fast-tracked the project, but recalled the book when Hatfield's earlier prison time for murder conspiracy became known. Horns and Halos follows what happened next: Fortunate Son was picked up by tiny Soft Skull Press, run by a passionate, Mohawk-topped young man named Sander Hicks, but the long, uphill battle to restore credibility to the work proves ruinous. The film is notable for access to the anxiety and roller-coaster emotions of Hatfield and Hicks, and there's plenty more despair in deleted scenes offered on this two-DVD set. Special features are especially important and useful here for added context, including raw footage of protests at Bush's inauguration, performances by Hicks and his band White Collar Crime, a profile of the film created by public television's KCET, and much else. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(14)
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Kind of Doc... October 12, 2004
Format:DVD
This film is unlike any documentary I've ever seen before. It combines various cinematic styles-- from Albert Maysles' uncut, "direct cinema" approach, to Michael Moore's "guerilla documentary" approach.

The characters are all nuanced, complex personalities, and the filmmakers do a startingly good job at not passing judgment and allowing us to see the characters for who they really are.

Rather than being a simplistic anti-Bush doc, the film is a meditation on how media, money, and politics combine to reak havoc on the life of an already troubled man.

I highly, highly recommend this film, not only to those who are interested in the intersection of media, money, and politics, but to those who are interested in experiencing great filmmaking.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horns and Halos shows both the horns and the halos April 23, 2004
Format:DVD
Excellent film, showing the history of the book Fortunate Son, a biography of George W. Bush, from its withdrawal from publication by St. Martin's Press through two editions with its new publisher, Soft Skull Press. The camera follows the author and the publisher as they encounter the ups and downs of a publishing and media world that is hostile to their enterprise. The movie pulls no punches about the author, who was a felon convicted of procuring an attempted murder, showing varied sides, including loving father. The movie also follows the ins and outs of the developing friendship of the author and his publisher. Overlying this is the political story of an author who picked the right candidate for biography; overcoming efforts to suppress, sidetrack, and censor; making a political statement in an environment ruled by big money; and the U.S. media circus, that follows the juicy personal scandal while ignoring the major political and economic scandals detailed in the book. The movie ends on a somber note, at the suicide of the author; but the book, and this movie, live on. I saw the movie tonight and came straight to Amazon Canada to buy it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We don't burn books in this country." June 5, 2005
Format:DVD
"Horns and Halos" is a fascinating story behind a book that became so controversial, its publisher, St Martin's Press issued a recall a few days after the publication date, and promptly burned all of the copies. The name of the book is "Fortunate Son" a biography of George W. Bush. The book's author, J.H.Hatfield had a few other star biographies under his belt (Ewan McGregor and Patrick Stewart) and also authored an unauthorized guide of X-Files when he pitched the book successfully to St. Martin's Press. "Fortunate Son" was supposed to be one of those glitzy tribute bios, but it turned into something much more, and what happened to the book, and J.H.Hatfield is the meat of this riveting documentary.

Hatfield added an afterword to the book, which he claimed was at St. Martin's insistence. The afterword included a juicy acknowledgment by three unspecified sources about Bush's alleged cocaine addiction. Hatfield insisted that he didn't want to add this info, but did so when the publisher pressed the issue. Immediately after publication, Hatfield's sordid past--which included a murder-for-hire scheme came to light, and the dirt on Hatfield--combined with the segment on Bush's alleged cocaine use led to the books' recall and destruction.

Enter Soft Skull Press, a tiny independent press who then republished the book and tried to distribute it. A great deal of the film follows the trials and tribulations of the rogue founder of Soft Skull Press, the intrepid, idealistic Sander Hicks as he and J.H.Hatfield attempt to re-launch the book. Hicks and Hatfield attended book conventions, and even appeared on 60 Minutes to try and promote the book. The two men form an unlikely sometimes-difficult bond.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film with Balls! October 13, 2004
Format:DVD
At last, here is a film that pulls no punches and delves into the little known story of Jim Hatfield and his book Fortunate Son... This is a really well made documentary that will knock your socks off and tell you all kinds of stuff you didnt know about Bush (pre-2000 election) and some of his more dubious habits. The question remains, how did this book about Bush get spiked and what really happened to its author? Buy this film and at least formulate an opinion...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This short documentary film 'Horns and Halos' features two very fascinating persons -- James Hatfield and Sander Hicks. Frankly, its subject matter about Hatfield's book 'Fortunate Son' unauthorized biography of George W. Bush looks no longer fresh and arresting as before for too many things happened since then. Still, this documentary is fascinating in its own way because of these two men's unique characters.

The most interesting part of the film is the long and winding road to re-publish this controversial book. Hatfield's book first published by St Martin's Press was withdrawn because some part of the author's biographical facts were unearthed. Then, a small publishing company Soft Skull Press, led by one young guy Sander Hicks (with a haircut like 'Travis' of 'Taxi Driver'), thinks of publishing the book again.

The film follows their efforts to promote the book, their promotions being several appearances on TV or radio shows (including '60 Minutes' though you can see only the introductory part of it). However, I believe the incongruous relations between Hicks and Hatfield is the best part of the film. These two guys are really something, I mean, if you don't know that this is a documentary film, you might think that they are the characters coming out of David Mamet dramas. See the publisher Hicks quote the e-mail from Hatfield, who obviously didn't like the way Hicks was talking to him. Reading the angry words themselve, like spit-fire, Hicks is also gradually carried away by the language, yelling before the PC in the basement floor where the publishing company is. You rarely see that kind of image on screen.

I don't know to what extent the comments they make before the camera is realiable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulously interesting Documentary
This is a must see for anyone interested in James Hatfield and his excellent 'banned and burned' book Fortunate Son.
Published on July 25, 2011 by 777
4.0 out of 5 stars sad story, another Bush related tragedy
This is a sad and poignant video. I remember buying the first edition of the book released by Soft Skull Press, and I was amazed but not surprised by the revelation that Bush was... Read more
Published on January 19, 2008 by vaporland
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think
It really makes you wonder. I tried to read "Fortunate Son" by James Hatfield but didn't have the patience at the time to read the book. Read more
Published on July 27, 2006 by Wendy Schroeder
5.0 out of 5 stars Horns and Halos, which side are you on?
If you're a republican consider watching "Horns and Halos" you just might realize your commander and chief is not what you thought. Read more
Published on May 27, 2006 by Wayne A. Lambright
2.0 out of 5 stars Not clear
First, as anyone who knows me will testify, I'm NOT a Dubya fan. On the contrary, I've been working on his impeachment, have written to Congress many times on the subject. Read more
Published on May 21, 2006 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Horns and Halo's
This is the best movie I have ever seen. It is Chilling and so true.
Published on December 31, 2005 by Floyd D. Gillis
4.0 out of 5 stars The human story underneath
This documentary actually turns out to be quite a lot more than a political polemic, and it's all the better for it. Read more
Published on July 31, 2005 by B. Hanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Continued Relevance
I have seen the film for the second time and was impressed even more by not only its informative content, but by its terrific dramatic impact. Read more
Published on October 26, 2004 by Mauricio
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, Interesting and very Sad
I just watched the DVD of "Horns and Halos". While I was expecting a sort of B version of Michael Moore, and in some senses it is, I found it a lot more moving that Moore, and so... Read more
Published on October 22, 2004 by Timothy Takemoto
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