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The Subterraneans (1960)

A love story between two misunderstood new bohemians who don't even understand themselves.

Director:

Ranald MacDougall

Writers:

Jack Kerouac (novel), Robert Thom
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Caron ... Mardou Fox
George Peppard ... Leo Percepied
Janice Rule ... Roxanne
Roddy McDowall ... Yuri Gligoric
Anne Seymour ... Charlotte Percepied
Jim Hutton ... Adam Moorad
Scott Marlowe ... Julien Alexander
Arte Johnson ... Arial Lavalerra
Ruth Storey Ruth Storey ... Analyst
Bert Freed ... Bartender
Gerry Mulligan Gerry Mulligan ... Reverend Joshua Hoskins
Carmen McRae ... Herself
André Previn ... Himself
Shelly Manne ... Himself
Red Mitchell ... Himself
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Storyline

Leo is a 28 year old writer who doesn't have any friends because he finds normal people too shallow and so he hasn't found love. After an arguing with his mother he leaves into the night where he accidentally meets a group of poets, artists and philosophers who drag him to a subterranean bar where Yuri, a vagabond poet, introduces him to Mardou a beautiful blonde girl. Leo goes with the young beatnik group to every subterranean bar in San Francisco. Immediately Leo and Mardou fall in love with each other and he promises her a life together forever but their love starts to strangle Leo's ability to write. One night, out of rage, Leo snaps and has an affair with Roxanne. Mardou disappears for four days because she thinks Leo is very childish, which takes Leo to heavy drinking until she re-appears with the news that she's pregnant and they declare their love with each other by leaving the new bohemian group to be alone and start a normal life together. Written by Rodrigo Borges

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Life is a party and everyone else is a party crasher" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 June 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A földalattiak See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$931,724 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Along with The Young Lovers (1964), one of very few films from the MGM catalogue that has never been released in any home video format. See more »

Quotes

Mardou Fox: Our town changed hands six times. My mother changed hands more often than that.
See more »


Soundtracks

Coffee Time
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Performed by Carmen McRae
See more »

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User Reviews

Ginsnerg hated it!
2 April 2002 | by Bruno MorphetSee all my reviews

Reviled by the original Beats, most notably Allen Ginsberg, and now virtually unobtainable in video form (let alone DVD) from any source, The Subterraneans has been derided as a Hollywood hatchet job bearing very little resemblance to the Kerouac book on which its based. The plot is simple, disillusioned writer, George Peppard, explores the 'subterranean' depths of San Francisco's North Beach district circa 1959 looking for anybody who will share his jaded perspective on life and finds romance amongst the Beatniks in the form of slightly touched Leslie Caron (original book's black female love interest is replaced by a French girl for Hollywood palates). Script is similarly lightweight, with intermittent nods to the language of the Beats and a clumsy attempt to re-create the famous Ginsberg "Howl" reading, but nevertheless the movie as a whole is stangely compelling in a historical sense, not as a faithful representation of Beat culture, but rather as a view on how the Beats were commoditized and became 'Beatniks'. If you have an interest in the popular culture of the time, daddio, then like, seek this flick out, if you're a serious Beat scholar, stay away.


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