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Almost Famous: The Bootleg Cut (2000)

Cast: Patrick Fugit, Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, more...
Director: Cameron Crowe, Cameron Crowe
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: DreamWorks
Genre: Coming of Age , Quest, Road Movies
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

Writer and director Cameron Crowe's experiences as a teenage rock journalist -- he was a regular contributor to Rolling Stone while still in high school -- inspired this coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old boy hitting the road with an up-and-coming rock band in the early 1970s. Elaine Miller (Frances McDormand) is a bright, loving, but strict single parent whose distrust of rock music and fears about drug use have helped to drive a wedge between herself and her two children, Anita (Zooey Deschanel) and William (Patrick Fugit). Anita rebels by dropping out of school and becoming a stewardess, but William makes something of his love of rock & roll by writing album reviews for a local underground newspaper. William's work attracts the attention of Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), editor of renegade rock magazine Creem, who takes William under his wing and gives him his first professional writing assignment -- covering a Black Sabbath concert. While William is unable to score an interview with the headliners, the opening act, Stillwater, are more than happy to chat with a reporter, even if he's still too young to drive, and William's piece on the group in Creem gains him a new admirer in Ben Fong-Torres (Terry Chen), an editor at Rolling Stone. Torres offers William an assignment for a 3,000-word cover story on Stillwater, and over the objections of his mother (whose parting words are "Don't use drugs!"), and after some stern advice from Bangs (who says under no circumstances should he become friends with a band he's covering), Williams joins Stillwater on tour, where he becomes friendly with guitarist Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee). William also becomes enamored of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), a groupie traveling with the band who is no older than William, but is deeply involved with Russell. Lester Bangs and Ben Fong-Torres, incidentally, were real-life rock writers Crowe worked with closely during his days as a journalist. Almost Famous' original score was composed by Nancy Wilson of Heart (who is also Crowe's wife).
~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Almost Famous (Original Theatrical Version) (2000)
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6.68 (268 votes)
Almost Famous Untitled: The Bootleg Cut (2000)
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7.24 (119 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

over two hours by psychodrama311 May 13, 2003 - 12:07 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
watching this movie..i was reminded of the days i played in a band..and also reminded me of those day's of the house parties. mr crowe succeeded in making me think about my day's growing up by watching his life's upbringing. great movie. great acting by jason lee, kate hudson, patrick fugit and billy crudup also a brilliant performance by frances mcdormand. great music (finally good use of zeppelin). great feel.

great..but the extended "bootleg" version is the one by psychodrama311 May 7, 2003 - 12:36 AM PDT
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
when i first saw "almost famous" in the theater it felt like a dream. a kid writer (i fancied myself a writer back in high school also) goes on tour with his favorite band.. man.. i loved it.. but with the release of the "bootleg" version.. there is no need to see this version anymore.. but it'll always be the nail that opened my eyes to cinema.

Longer, better version by tboot July 1, 2002 - 8:18 PM PDT
15 out of 15 members found this review helpful
If you loved this movie like I did, then you'll love this "bootleg" version even more. 36 extra minutes has been added, from 5 second shots to whole scenes. Disc One includes the longer feature, a filmed interview with Lester Bangs which will make you appreciate Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal even more, and a surprisingly fun "interactive" version of a scene that was removed from the theatrical release, in which you put on your cd or vinyl copy of "Stairway to Heaven" (you DO own a copy, right?) and, following the on-screen countdown, you play hit the play button so it will sync up with the scene. There's also a commentary track with Crowe and his mother. I found his mother to be a charming addition for about 5 minutes, but hearing the love-fest between them gets a bit tiresome.

Disc Two includes the theatrical version, a full concert of Stillwater (a bore), the script and production notes, and the full take of the Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris sitting-in-the-hotel-room song which was just a snippet in the movie.

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