Year: 2008

Directed by: Alex Gibney

Written by: Hunter S.Thompson

Screen Story by: Alex Gibney

Music by: David Schwartz

Narreted by: Johnny Depp

Runtime: 118 minutes

Official site IMDB screencaps



“Gonzo” is the definitive film biography of a mythic American figure, a man that Tom Wolfe called our “greatest comic writer,” whose suicide, by gunshot, led Rolling Stone Magazine, where Thompson began his career, to devote an entire issue (its best-selling ever) to the man that launched a thousand sips of bourbon, endless snorts of cocaine and a brash, irreverent, fearless style of journalism – named “gonzo” after an anarchic blues riff by James Booker.

Borrowing from Kris Kristofferson, Thompson was a “walking contradiction, partly truth, mostly fiction.” A die-hard member of the NRA, he was also a coke-snorting, whiskey-swilling, acid-eating fiend. While his pen dripped with venom for crooked politicians, he surprised nervous visitors with the courtly manners and soft-spoken delivery of a Southern gentleman. Careening out of control in his personal life, Thompson also maintained a steel-eyed conviction about righting wrongs. Today, in a time, when “spin” has replaced the search for deeper meaning, Thompson remains an iconic crusader for truth, justice and a fiercely idealistic American way. Like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, his book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (and the movie made from it) remains a wanderlust myth for generation after generation of American youth. And for America’s most esteemed journalists – from Tom Wolfe, and Walter Isaacson (former editor of Time) to the NY Times’ Frank Rich – he remains an iconic freelance, never afraid to gore every sacred cow in his path. He believed that writing could make a difference. It could change things.

GONZO is directed by Alex Gibney, the Academy Award nominated director of Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room and the director of the Academy Award winning documentary, Taxi to the Dark Side. While Gibney shaped the screen story, every narrated word in the film springs from the typewriters of Thompson himself. Those words are given life by Johnny Depp, the actor who once shadowed Thompson’s every move for the screen version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and who bankrolled Thompson’s spectacular funeral (photographed for this film) in which the good doctor’s ashes were fired from a rocket launcher mounted with a towering two-thumbed fist whose palm held a giant peyote button.

This two-year effort was produced by an extraordinary team, including Gibney; Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair; the indie producing team of Jason Kliot and Joana Vicente; Eva Orner and Alison Ellwood. Ellwood, an extraordinarily creative editor, was also Gibney’s collaborator on Enron. The film’s Director of Photography was Maryse Alberti.

The film is distinguished by its unprecedented cooperation of Thompson’s friends, family and estate. The filmmakers had access to hundreds of photographs and over 200 hours of audiotapes, home movies and documentary footage of the man. In addition, the estate granted unusual access to the work itself, allowing the film to quote from unpublished manuscripts, as well as the many letters, books and articles that Thompson produced. Ralph Steadman – the visionary artist whose ink-splattered drawings and paintings created a subversively iconic visual landscape for Thompson’s words – also granted the filmmakers access to previously unpublished artworks and Polaroid’s.

The signature of the film, however, is its focus on Thompson’s work, particularly his most provocative and productive period from 1965 to 1975. His wicked words resonate today, at a time when politicians have become manufactured celebrities, shrouding themselves in Teflon, issuing banalities whose only value is that they rarely offend. Too often, contemporary journalists play the politicians’ game, taking them seriously with a balance they don’t deserve. Thompson never stood for that. He understood, better than any other, that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

Press Kit magnolia pictures

Johnny Depp

Anita Thompson
Thompson’s second wife

Bob Braudis
Sheriff, Pitkin County (Aspen)

Charles Perry
Editor, Rolling Stone

Douglas Brinkley
Literary Executor, Hunter Thompson estate

Gary Hart
McGovern Campaign Manager

George McGovern
US Senator/Presidential Candidate

George Stranahan
Hunter’s friend and landlord

Jann Wenner
Co-Founder/Publisher, Rolling Stone

Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Carter
United States President, 1976 – 1980

Juan Thompson
Thompson’s son (with Sandy Thompson)

Laila Nablusi
Producer, “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”

Pat Buchanan
Nixon speechwriter

Pat Caddell
McGovern Campaign Pollster

Ralph Steadman

Sandy Thompson (now Sondi Wright)
Thompson’s first wife

Sonny Barger
1965 Hell’s Angels President, Oakland Chapter

Timothy Crouse
Writer/Journalist, Author Boys on the Bus

Tom Wolfe

Directed by

Screen Story by

Writing by

Produced by

Produced by

Produced by

Produced by

Executive Producers

Co-Executive Producers

Edited by

Director of Photography

Narrated by

Original Music

Production Companies
HDNet Films

Other Companies
ABC News Video Source(archival footage), Artbeats Digital Film Library(archival footage), Associated Press/Wide World stills, BBC Motion Gallery( archival footage), Bigstar Motion Design(titles and opticals), Boston Globe(stills), Cable News Network (CNN)(archival footage), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Television Archives(archival footage), Corbis(stills), Dawn Animal Agency(animal wrangling), Detroit News / Free Press(stills), Dog Bark Sound(sound post-production), ESPN Enterprises(archival footage), Electronic Arts Intermix(archival footage), Filson Historical Society, The stills, FremantleMedia Enterprises(archival footage), Getty Images(archival footage), Global Imageworks LLC(archival footage), Glue Editing and Design(additional post-production), Herald Examiner Collection(stills), Historic Films Archive(archival footage), Key-Z Productions(archival footage), MacDonald and Associates(archival footage), NBC News Archives(archival footage), National Archives and Records Administration(archival footage), Oddball Film and Video(archival footage), Postworks New York(post-production facilities), Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn E & O Counsel, Rolling Stone(stills), Sloss Law Office(production counsel), Sound Lounge(sound post-production), UCLA Film and Television Archive(archival footage), University of Oklahoma(archival footage), WPA Film Library(archival footage) (as The WPA Film Library), Wayne Ewing Films Inc.(archival footage)


Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas – Irvine, CA: University Town Center 6 Cinemas – Los Angeles, CA: The Landmark – Palo Alto, CA: Aquarius 2 – Pasadena, CA: Playhouse 7 Cinemas – San Diego, CA: Hillcrest Cinemas – San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Center Cinema – San Rafael, CA: Smith Rafael Film Center – West Hollywood, CA: Sunset 5 – Denver, CO: Mayan Theatre – Washington, DC: E Street Cinema – Atlanta, GA: Midtown Art Cinemas 8 – Chicago, IL: Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema – Cambridge, MA: Kendall Square Cinema – Baltimore, MD: Landmark Harbor East 7 – Minneapolis, MN: Lagoon Cinema – New York, NY: Lincoln Plaza – New York, NY: Angelika Film Center (6) – Philadelphia, PA: Ritz at the Bourse – Austin, TX: Arbor Cinemas at Great Hills – Dallas, TX: Magnolia Theatre (Dallas) – Houston, TX: River Oaks Theatre – Arlington, VA: Shirlington 7


Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Santa Cruz, CA: Nickelodeon Theatres – Ann Arbor, MI: Michigan Theater – Royal Oak, MI: Main Art Theatre – University City, MO: Tivoli Theatre – Santa Fe, NM: The Screen – Cleveland Heights, OH: Cedar Lee Theatres – Columbus, OH: Gateway 8 – Nashville, TN: Belcourt Theatre – San Antonio, TX: Santikos Bijou at Crossroads 6


New Haven, CT: Criterion Cinemas 7 – North Falmouth, MA: Nickelodeon Cinema 5 – Kansas City, MO: Tivoli at Manor Square – Chapel Hill, NC: Chelsea Cinema – Charlotte, NC: Manor Theatre – Dayton, OH: New Neon Movies – Bend, OR: Pilot Butte 6 Theatres – Eugene, OR: Bijou Art Cinema – Richmond, VA: Westhampton Cinema 2 – Madison, WI: Sundance Cinemas 608


Honolulu, HI: Doris Duke Theatre

Olympia, WA: Olympia Film SocietyCapitol Theatre
Juneau, AK: Gold Town Nickelodeon
USA 20 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
Italy 12 June 2008 (Biografilm Festival)
Germany 27 June 2008 (Munich Film Festival)
USA 4 July 2008 (limited)
Canada 18 July 2008 (limited)
Finland 19 September 2008 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
Poland 10 October 2008 (Warsaw International FilmFest)
Spain 24 October 2008 (In-Edit Barcelona Film Festival)
UK 27 October 2008 (London Film Festival)
Argentina 3 November 2008 (San Luis Cine International Festival)
Denmark 9 November 2008 (CPHDOX Festival)
UK 19 December 2008

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