6.7/10
10,809
56 user 36 critic

Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)

Semi-biographical film based on the experiences of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

Director:

Art Linson

Writers:

Hunter S. Thompson (stories) (as Dr. Hunter S. Thompson), John Kaye (screenplay)
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Broad satire and buffoonery presented as a series of movie trailers. Among the titles and subjects are: "The Howard Huge Story", "Skate-boarders from Hell", "The Invasion of the Penis ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Boyle ... Lazlo
Bill Murray ... Hunter S. Thompson
Bruno Kirby ... Marty Lewis
Rene Auberjonois ... Harris (as René Auberjonois)
R.G. Armstrong ... Judge Simpson
Danny Goldman Danny Goldman ... Porter
Rafael Campos ... Rojas
Leonard Frey ... Desk Clerk
Leonard Gaines Leonard Gaines ... Super Fan
Otis Day ... Man #1 (as De Wayne Jessie)
Mark Metcalf ... Dooley
Jon Shear Jon Shear ... Billy Kramer (as Jon Matthews)
Joseph Ragno ... Willins
Quinn K. Redeker ... Pilot (as Quinn Redeker)
Lisa Taylor ... Ruthie
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Storyline

The deranged adventures of Gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson and his attorney Oscar Acosta, referred to in the movie as "Laslow". Thompson attempts to cover the Super Bowl and the 1972 Presidential election in his typical drug-crazed state, but is continually and comically sidetracked by his even more twisted friend Laslow. Allegedly based on actual events. Written by John Rumpelein <usviking@imageek.york.cuny.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I hate to advocate weird chemicals, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone... but they've always worked for me. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blast - Wo die Büffel röhren See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,750,593, 27 April 1980

Gross USA:

$6,659,377

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,659,377
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an early scene, the establishing shot outside a seedy bar contains two seedy characters standing outside it, lighting cigarettes. They are musician Neil Young and music producer David Briggs, who contributed to the soundtrack selection and recording. See more »

Goofs

During the courtroom scene, 21 minutes and 5 seconds into the film, Thompson sets down his glass which is almost full. A second later, a close-up on the glass shows it sitting on the floor, empty. All further scenes in the courtroom show the glass once again almost full. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Hi sir, it's Harris from the Post. Can I get you anything sir?
Candidate: How's the family Harris?
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Oh the family, well that's bad news. The screwheads finally came and took my daughter away. Let me ask you a question sir, what is this country doing for the doomed? There are two kinds of people in this country, the doomed and the screwheads. Savage tribal thugs who live off their legal incomes, brow deep out there; no respect for human dignity. They don't know what you and I understand, you know what I ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The theatrical version featured music by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Credence Clearwater Revival. Due to music licensing issues, the VHS and DVD releases from Anchor Bay and Universal feature new music, replacing some of the artists on the original soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Followed by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep on Chooglin
Written by John Fogerty
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival (as Credence Clearwater Revival)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not true Thompson, but a fun film.
5 October 2000 | by jrabbit-2See all my reviews

Whether you like this film or not will depend heavily on how big of a Hunter S. Thompson fan you are.

On the plus side, this film is wickedly funny. Bill Murray (an actor who has been both great and terrible in his career) does a phenomenal job as the acid-drenched reporter, bringing chaos into the lives of the rigid and pretentious. The plot is peppered with "respectable" places being dragged into mayhem, and "respectable" folks trying (unsuccessfully) to cope behind plastic smiles.

It even ventures into some higher themes, such as innocent kids being jailed by a heartless criminal system, and Thompson's own struggles between being a practical reporter and a fun-loving idealist (notice how Lazlo repeatedly re-surfaces just when Thompson starts to take on "real" jobs).

It's biggest fault, however, was that it failed to achieve any of the higher accomplishments of HST's writings. What makes Thompson such a powerful writer (to me, anyway) is the way he'll often turn on a dime and deliver stunningly sober dialogs on the human animal and where he's gone wrong. Nestled in the midst of the wine, women, and song are soliloquies that drive home a more positive message, and none of those made it into this film (in fact, no significant chunks of actual text from HST's books appeared at all). It's like they shaved off the surface 50% of Thompson's work and discarded the rest.

Compare this to Fear and Loathing, which was darker and more counter-cultural, and contained whole narrations excerpted from the novel. The latter perhaps has less appeal to the average viewer, but I'd think more to a Thompson fan.

All-in-all, this film is a light-hearted romp into anarchy, and worth watching. But if you've never actually READ Thompson, do so, as this movie doesn't accurately represent him.


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