HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Grand Theft Parsons Knoxville On Heaven's DoorBuy this film here.
Year: 2003
Director: David Caffrey
Stars: Johnny Knoxville, Christina Applegate, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster, Marley Shelton, Gabriel Macht, Mike Shawver, Jamie McShane, Danielle Sapia
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: Gram Parsons was the pioneer of soulful country rock (or ‘Cosmic American Music’ as he termed it) who died over an overdose in 1973 at the age of 26. His musical influence was considerable, but it’s the strange circumstances surrounding his death – or what happened directly after it – that concerns David Caffrey’s slight but amusing road movie.

Jackass main man Johnny Knoxville plays Phil Kaufman, Parsons’ road manager and closest friend, who had made a pact with the singer that if one of them were to die, the other would cremate their body in the desert. So when Parsons turns up dead in a motel room after a lethal cocktail of booze and pills, Kaufman leaps into action, stealing the corpse from the airport where is due to be collected by the singer’s estranged father and hitting the road.

There’s not much to this story, and only five main protagonists – Kaufman is accompanied drug-addled hippie Larry (Michael Shannon) whose flower-powered hearse he hires, while on their trail are Parsons’ money-grabbing ex-lover (Christina Applegate), Kaufman’s long-suffering girlfriend (Marley Shelton) and Gram’s father (Robert Forster). None of these characters are fleshed out to any depth, but winning performances compensate. Knoxville provides a charismatic, surprisingly restrained presence, while Shannon gets the biggest laughs and Forster is suitably dignified as the father who just wants to take his son home; only Christina Applegate’s shrieking shtick wears thin after a while.

This is a potentially very sad story – a huge talent wasted so young, a friend who cares more about him than his family ever did – but Irish director Caffrey plays most of it for laughs, largely at the expense of any real drama or depth. Luckily, it is often very funny, as Kaufman tries to convince Larry that he’s a coffin dealer and that there isn’t really a corpse in the back of his car while trying to avoid various entanglements with the law. There are occasional moments of melancholy, and the cremation itself is nicely handled as Kaufman bids farewell to his friend with a bittersweet elegy about the waste of his life and the fact he was elsewhere when he took his fatal overdose. "I'm sorry I wasn't there when you threw away your damn-fool life. I was there before and I've been there ever since."

British writer Jeremy Drysdale’s screenplay takes huge liberties with the facts – Applegate’s character is entirely invented, and Parson’s father actually died when he was 12. It was his hated step-dad who really tried to claim the body, and he certainly never chased Kaufman into the desert, let alone tacitly agree to the unorthodox cremation. But at 85 minutes Grand Theft Parsons breezes by, and the soundtrack is top-notch, Gram’s own material mixed with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Primal Scream.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 5944 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Caffrey  (1969 - )

Irish director who made the dark romantic comedy Divorcing Jack, with David Thewlis, and road movie Grand Theft Parsons, about the theft of Gram Parsons’ body.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: