This adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel, directed by Walter Salles and executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola, is based on the years Kerouac spent traversing 1940s-era America with Neal Cassady and other Beat Generation figures, including Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.
The story itself remains a defining work of the postwar Beat Generation told against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use. The narrator, Sal Paradise, and his friend Dean Moriarty, hit the American highways between 1947 and 1950,traveling by bus, hitchhiking, and automobile from the east coast to such far-flung locales as San Francisco, New Orleans, Denver, and Mexico City. The book influenced an entire generation of musicians, poets and writers, including Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Jim Morrison, and Hunter S. Thompson.
Previous attempts to bring On the Road to the silver screen failed, including a 1957 deal Kerouac nearly made with Paramount Pictures, which reportedly included Marlon Brando in the lead role of Dean Moriarty. Years later, Coppola made multiple attempts at adapting the book with Brad Pitt and later, Colin Farrell in the same role. Ultimately, Coppola handpicked the Brazilian-born Salle, director of The Motorcycle Diaries, to take the helm.
When the final product was released, reviews were mixed, and the film grossed a scant $744,296 domestically. Nevertheless, it stands as an interesting example of a great work of literature that was difficult to adapt—and perhaps should never have been adapted—to the screen.
Director: Walter Salles | USA | 2012 | 137 minutes | Rated R
$5 Brooks members and students with valid ID/Free with VIP Film Pass.
Please note that no advance tickets will be sold for our Friday matinee screenings.