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The Music Never Stopped (2011)

J.K. Simmons , Lou Taylor Pucci , Jim Kohlberg  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: J.K. Simmons, Lou Taylor Pucci
  • Directors: Jim Kohlberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Roadside Attractions
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2011
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QL7JTE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,985 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Music Never Stopped" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the author of Awakenings comes this heartwarming tale of a father and son who find a connection through the music that embodied the generation gap of the 1960s. An unforgettable soundtrack features the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and more.

What is it about music that delivers a fully formed emotional memory years, even decades, later--as though you were hearing it for the very first time? The Music Never Stopped examines the emotional power of music in a touching, lovely way that will stay with the viewer long after the film is over. The Music Never Stopped is based on a true story first told in an essay by Oliver Sacks (Awakenings), about a young man who develops a brain tumor that prevents him from making any new memories after 1970. The film opens in the mid-1980s when the boy, now in his 30s (played with subtlety and humor by Lou Taylor Pucci, reminiscent of a young Sam Rockwell), is rediscovered after a long absence by his parents. J.K. Simmons, the veteran TV actor, plays Gabe's heartbroken dad, and gives the performance of his life--true, real, grounded and believable. The Music Never Stopped traces the work of a young music therapist (Julia Ormond, also terrific) who discovers that Gabe's brain can make new memories if it involves learning a new piece of music. So Gabe's dad immerses himself in Gabe's favorite music--the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Beatles--and hatches a plan to reconnect with his son. Part of the beauty of The Music Never Stopped is that the experience of watching it mirrors what is happening on the screen; listening to the great music of the '60s instantly brings memories and emotions to the surface, not only in the characters, but in the viewers as well. It's to director Jim Kohlberg's great credit that he achieves this feat, and that he lets the story unfold simply without unneeded schmaltz. Any parent who's felt estranged from a child, any child who's felt at odds with a parent, and anyone who's ever really and truly loved music--which means just about anyone--will find a lot of heart and soul in The Music Never Stopped. --A.T. Hurley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'All you need is love' July 22, 2011
Oliver Sacks, M.D. is a physician and professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center. In 2007, he was named the first Columbia University Artist, in recognition of his contributions to the arts. THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED is an adaptation (by Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks) of "The Last Hippie", a short story/essay from Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat", a collection of case history stories. Dr. Sacks is a neurologist who has spent his career diagnosing, evaluating, and treating a variety of neurological disorders (and the oftentimes the profound personality shifts that resulted in brain injury or trauma). This information provides a bit of reality ground to the film and makes it all the more important to see and respect. As directed by Jim Kohlberg, this film is a quiet, reverent, at times disturbing exploration of the many aspects of brain function and malfunction and an example of adaptation to these challenges.

Gabriel Sawyer (Lou Taylor Pucci) was a bright youngster in the 1070s when the Vietnam war was altering the nation's perception of right and wrong as expressed in the music of Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Cream, the Beatles, etc. Longing to be a professional musician he foregoes his parent's wishes that he attend college and with regret leaves his girlfriend Tamara (Tammy Blanchard) and takes off for New York's Greenwich Village. Fast forward to 1986 and Gabriel is hospitalized for an enormous brain tumor, surgically removed, but leaving Gabriel without the ability to remember. At this point Gabriel's parents are located and his father Henry (J.K. Simmons) and mother Helen (Cara Seymour) visit him in the hospital, longing to reconnect with the son that has been absent for fifteen years.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saw it's debut at Sundance! June 1, 2011
By dcerva
I saw this film at Sundance and right away it became my favorite for the year. This film has a great and touching story, but so many do. What sets this film apart from so many others, is that it isnt trying too hard. The idea behind this film is simple and it is simply made -- no ultra crazy cinematography, no avant-garde editing. The script is also simple in the fact that it doesnt try to add ficticious elements to real life problems to try and make them ultra dramatic. This film really gets down to the clean basics of film making -- just substance, no fluff.
Aside from production, I really enjoyed this film becasue I am a huge fan of 60's and 70's rock and roll. All of the visible themes of this film are interweaved with being able to indentify with music. Anyone who has ever been moved by a particular song, album, or band will "get" this film. Anyone who grew up while the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, and Hendrix were all releasing music and during the Vietnam War will be able to relate to the emotion of this story. This Film does not take place in the 60's, but relives it.
Without giving away to much of the plot, I will simply say that this film is about the relationship between a father and a son -- both love music and are moved by the music of their day, but dont have much else in common.
This is a must see, at least once.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story with wonderful performances July 29, 2011
"(Rhythm) is there in the cycles of the seasons, in the migrations of the birds and animals, in the fruiting and withering of plants, and in the birth, maturation and death of ourselves," -Mickey Hart (Grateful Dead)

What is it about music that resonates so much with people? Is it chemical? A part of the brain that responds to the frequencies and rhythm of certain sounds played in a progression? Or, is it just the fact that it makes one "feel" something?

Music, like any other form of art brings out a "feeling" in the one experiencing it. Those feelings will be different for everyone and some will be permanently effected by them. Music can do many things. It can heal, damage, make you dance, give you a headache and even make you "high". According to many music therapists, it can also help recall memories. "The Music Never Stopped" explores this phenomenon beautifully and is a testament to our souls connection with our music. Set in the 80's with flashbacks to the 60's and 70's "The Music Never Stopped" has some of the best music from the bands of that era. The film runs the gamete of emotions and has some powerful performances from the actors and classic bands such as The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles.

Gabriel, a 30 something man with a brain tumor is unable to form new memories. He can remember his life growing up, playing music and following his favorite bands around the country, but he can't remember what his nurse just said to him 5 minutes ago. Lou Tayler Pucci plays the down to earth "hippie" Gabriel graciously and I was very impressed with his performance. He was subtle but beautifully represented those of us obsessed with music and it's meanings.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Music Never Stopped July 28, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am normally not a movie buff and find it very difficult to sit through any film, at home or at the theatre. I happened on this movie on cable today after waiting for it to come to a local cinema. I must say it was probably one of the best movies I have seen in my lifetime and was so sorry when it ended. The music was wonderful, family interaction was true and well done. You will laugh at triumphs, cry at times and just enjoy the music. I think I will have to watch it again tomorrow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie with alot of heart.
Published 3 days ago by Christopher A. Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars J.K. Simmons is one of the very best.
This was a very well-done film, with some of the best 60's music one could ever ask for. What makes this movie special is that the music is intricate in the story line and not just... Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. T. Higgins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this movie
Published 1 month ago by Angel lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A heartwarming Movie with Robert Dinro.
Published 2 months ago by MURRAY W. LANGSTON
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very powerful and very poigniamt movie for anyone who struggled with their parents
Published 2 months ago by M. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best movies I have ever seen
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. A story of the healing power of love. I watch it every few months and weep every single time. Please, please watch it.
Published 2 months ago by Mary J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well done worth the bucks you get watt you payed for
Published 3 months ago by David Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars "Touch Of Grey" - The Grateful Dead. Especially For Lou Taylor Pucci...
The power of music has an almost magical ability. It transports us to a time and place where we first fell in love with a certain song, band or a piece of the lyrics. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sheryl Fechter
4.0 out of 5 stars The Past Is Prologue
This film is based on an article by Oliver Sacks, whose writings also inspired the 1990 tear-jerker Awakenings. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kevin L. Nenstiel
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I'd never seen this before.
Great movie for DeadHeads, young rebels, parents struggling to understand their children, people dealing with tragic medical conditions of a Loved one, music Lovers, and just about... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Fred Hammes
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