The Subterraneans

  • 1960
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Jack Kerouac's "beat" novel came to the screen with some significant changes in plot and character and the result was disappointing. Peppard is a Columbia graduate and former Olympic champion who turns his attention to noveling and searches for the meaning of life in San Francisco's legendary North Beach. He comes across a coffee house coterie of beatniks...read more

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Jack Kerouac's "beat" novel came to the screen with some significant changes in plot and character and the result was disappointing. Peppard is a Columbia graduate and former Olympic champion who turns his attention to noveling and searches for the meaning of life in San Francisco's

legendary North Beach. He comes across a coffee house coterie of beatniks and is taken by free spirit Caron (in the novel her character was black). They fall for each other, roll around the sack for a while, and when she becomes pregnant, decide to join society once again--together (they split

painfully in the book). Reputedly producer Freed intended to use a pair of unknown recent college graduates to write and direct the film, but changed his mind, slotting in Thom and McDougall instead. Beautifully poetic in its best moments and like something written by a dyslexic William Faulkner

at its worst, The Subterraneans would have been better left on paper. The jazz that played so important a part in the book is carried over into the film's soundtrack. Andre Previn wrote most of the numbers and they were interpreted by several leading jazz musicians. Songs include: "Wanderin',"

"Leo in Bar," "Roxanne at Ariels's" (Andre Previn), "Should I" (Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed), "Coffee Time" (Harry Warren, Freed), "Look Ma, No Clothes," "Analyst."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Jack Kerouac's "beat" novel came to the screen with some significant changes in plot and character and the result was disappointing. Peppard is a Columbia graduate and former Olympic champion who turns his attention to noveling and searches for the meaning… (more)

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