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Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel

DVD + DVD Audio

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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(Jun 20, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This definitive biography chronicles a Southern Gothic saga and is a fascinating look at "the Grievous Angel" and the heartbreakingly beautiful music he created. Dispelling myths that have grown to surround Gram, Fallen Angel shows us the essence of his artistry; it is a truly revealing account of his life and ongoing influence. Fallen Angel features music from Gram Parsons’ groundbreaking career with The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as his highly acclaimed solo albums. Featured interviews include Peter Buck, James Burton, Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman, Phil Kaufman, Bernie Leadon, Avis Bartkus Parsons III, Gretchen Parsons Carpenter, Diane Parsons, Polly Parsons, Keith Richards, Dwight Yoakam, and more.

Amazon.com

Cynics have suggested that death is a shrewd career move for some artists, and when it comes to singer-songwriter Gram Parsons, whose life, work, and demise are chronicled in Fallen Angel, they may be right. Although undeniably talented, Parsons never had a hit and made just six albums, and only one of them (the Flying Burrito Brothers' The Gilded Palace of Sin) is a bona fide classic. That's one reviewer's opinion, anyway. Yet three decades after he died (in 1975, at age 26), Parsons is revered as a country rock pioneer, a significant influence on Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones, and a colossal talent who never got his due. While that may all be true, what's beyond dispute (and it's confirmed by the great majority of those interviewed in director Gandulf Henning's documentary) is that Parsons was a screw-up, a drunk and drug abuser who squandered his opportunities and dug himself an early grave, even by rock star standards. It wasn't all his fault. Any kid with a family background like his (his father committed suicide and his mother died from the ravages of alcoholism… possibly with the assistance of her second husband, Parsons' stepfather, who was a big drinker himself) is bound to have, shall we say, issues; Parsons was also well off financially, a fact that many interviewees (most notably Chris Hillman, who played with him in the Byrds and the Burritos) suggest might have attributed to his lack of driving ambition. Richards, duet partner Emmylou Harris, and other former bandmates are on hand to tell the tale, along with his widow, various surviving relatives, and close friends and associates. There's lots of Parsons' music on the soundtrack, as well as excerpts from a couple of Burritos promo films and some interesting footage of him singing with Harris. In the end, the film's most haunting moments concern the events that followed Parsons' death, when road manager Phil Kaufman commandeered (stole, actually) his casket and drove it to California's Joshua Tree National Monument, where he set it on fire, apparently according to the singer's wishes. Now that is the stuff of legend. --Sam Graham


Special features

None.

Product details

  • Actors: Tracey MacLeod, Peter Buck, Gretchen Carpenter, Elvis Costello, Pamela Des Barres
  • Directors: Gandulf Hennig
  • Writers: Gandulf Hennig, Sid Griffin
  • Producers: Gandulf Hennig, Alfred Holighaus, Mark Cooper, Mark Hagen, Peter Sommer
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, English, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Rhino
  • DVD Release Date: June 20, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000A0GY32
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,346 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel" on IMDb

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