HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Shoplifters
Redeemer
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
   
 
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
   
 
  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 6274 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 star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: