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Where the Buffalo Roam
Year:
1980
Country:
USA
Genre:
Biography, Comedy
IMDB rating:
6.4
Director:
Art Linson
Bruno Kirby as Marty Lewis
Rafael Campos as Rojas
Otis Day as Man #1 (as De Wayne Jessie)
Lisa Taylor as Ruthie
Jon Matthews as Billy Kramer
Leonard Frey as Desk Clerk
Joe Ragno as Willins
Leonard Gaines as Super Fan
Danny Goldman as Porter
R.G. Armstrong as Judge Simpson
Rene Auberjonois as Harris (as René Auberjonois)
Mark Metcalf as Dooley
Bill Murray as Hunter S. Thompson
Peter Boyle as Lazlo
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 it continually and comically sidetracked by his even more twisted friend Laslow. Allegedly based on actual events.
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Reviews
Disappointing
Although Fear And Loathing may be my favorite movie of all time, I was totally willing to go into this movie with no expectations and give Bill Murray his chance. That being said, this movie was objectively bad. The plot has no central idea or themes and feels more like a completely random series of events. At times Fear And Loathing felt random but there was always meaning to it, there was always a lesson meant to be taught. Here, there was none of that, only a bad time. I felt no compassion for Hunter or any other character. Also, every single actor in this movie is very weak. I did find some enjoyment out of Bill Murray's performance and a few events, but other than that, I really did not like this movie.
2016-04-13
Where The Buffalo Roam
Where the Buffalo Roam is a semi-biographic, loosely based on reality, film about Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. But of course, with Thompson, who's to say what's reality? While it in no way equals Fear & Loathing as a cinematic creation, Where the Buffalo Roam is a very worthy film by its own right, and as a portrayal of the actual Thompson it's probably better; Murray does a wonderful job, maybe not a eccentric as Depp but closer to the man himself; and the movie is very successful in showing just what made Thompson a unique individual, a cult figure and a landmark personality in the world of journalism. Peter Boyle is also terrific, giving depth and complexity to a character that was more a grotesque caricature when played by Benicio Del Toro in Gilliam's film.
2011-09-26
A great, great film
Most negative reviews seem to come from people who saw Depp before Murray. Pity. For serious HST readers or even those who only know The Great Shark Hunt, WTBR offered a comic relief side so sadly lacking in Depp's one-dimensional, cardboard, just quote your lines performance (and I'm a big Depp fan). As for "Murray being Murray" - such a comment can only come from people who saw this after the rest of Bill's work. It was one of the earliest and best - indeed laid the base for much of his 80s and 90s work. Boyle is frenetic, allowing Murray to play sidekick for a change. A great option. HST's written rants were always harsh but always fair, no doubt composed coming off a bender. Who then is to say WTBR's omission of much of these is wrong, rather than simply a portrayal of the benders. We all know what he wrote and how he wrote - I'm glad WTBR chose to portray who HST was and the chaotic situations he put himself in rather than become some art-house naval-gazing about the tortured creative process of a scathingly intelligent commentator. Mind you - I did see it as the second part of a double header with Eraserhead ! Sadly, no video copies of WTBR exist in Australia. Can anyone help me ?
2005-05-11
One of The Funniest Movies Ever
Where the Buffalo Roam is one of my all time favorites. My best friend and I must have seen it and laughed together dozens of times. Bill Murray was hysterical in portraying Hunter Thompson via some of the funniest scenes in any movie ever. Yes, it was never recognized as mainstream but who cares if you love it. I did not know at the time that this was about a real person. I though it was just another comedy from the SNL alumni. I would have loved to have met and spoken with Hunter Thompson but he will not be available. Was he really like that in life? Someone please tell me. In the end it's the internal pains and struggles that some of just will not tolerate any further. Rest in Peace Hunter Thompson, your character brought me many laughs, shared with friends. Always walking around with the cocktail. I am going to my site, Mall65.com, and searching the movie merchants in hope of finding a DVD copy of Where the Buffalo Roam. Thanks for the laughs, thanks for reading me and I hope you will help this disabled person by visiting Mall65.com. Bye..
2005-02-21
Loosely based on real events
The one thing that I really haven't seen anyone mention is that none of the little "vignettes" that Hunter goes through are things he actually did. F&L is based on his book, which is based on events that he actually reported on. WTBR is a jangled mess. Not to say I don't enjoy it, but there is very little that is taken from his works.

For instance, Hunter did not go and cover the '72 super bowl. But he did cover the LA Raiders for a little while in i believe 1970 and failed covering the Ali-Frazier fight in Zaire in 1975. Which I think what this segment is alluding to.

The scene were Lazlo is in court is taken from "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan" but that was about a murder case involving a Chicano journalist and the LA police.

During the '72 presidential campaign he was covering the Democrats and George McGovern not Nixon. His only personal encounter with Nixon came in 1968 when they discussed football in the back of Nixon's car on the way to the airport.

And drug/arms running to Latin America with Lazlo/Acosta? Never happened, but Hunter did think Acosta was killed under similar circumstances.

I'm just saying that the movie is entertaining and Bill Murray does a very good job. But it is not based at all in reality.
2012-08-10
WARNING_ Two Versions Exist!
The original movie was a lot of fun, due largely to the great soundtrack. I bought the DVD because I feared my old video tape would break. I discovered that the DVD version was TERRIBLE! All the great music had been replaced by awful elevator muzak. This practice should be illegal! There was NO warning on the packaging that I wasn't buying the original product. I give the original version an 8, I give the cheapo ripoff newer version a 2. So I averaged it a 5. The original movie was a lot of fun, due largely to the great soundtrack. I bought the DVD because I feared my old video tape would break. I discovered that the DVD version was TERRIBLE! All the great music had been replaced by awful elevator muzak. This practice should be illegal! There was NO warning on the packaging that I wasn't buying the original product. I give the original version an 8, I give the cheapo ripoff newer version a 2. So I averaged it a 5.
2009-04-02
A cartoonish, idiotic romp that does Thompson's genius no justice
As a massive fan of Hunter S. Thompson (I don't exaggerate when I say the man is my hero), a heavy reader of his books and articles, and a Gilliam fanboy who's seen "Fear and Loathing" approximately 700 times, I was like a kid on Christmas when I found out that there's ANOTHER movie about Dr. Gonzo starring Bill Murray, one of my favorite actors. Little did I know the disappointment I was in for.

While Bill Murray, despite not resembling HST in the least, had his mannerisms down pat in this role, this film completely mangled Thompson's character. "Where the Buffalo Roam" portrays him as a rebel only in the shallowest sense, reminiscent more of an Animal House fratboy than an American outlaw as he tours the nation, freaking out the squares and starting parties everywhere he goes. The film touches on actual issues such as the War on Drugs only to create the illusion of some counter-culture message, but it never actually quotes any of Dr. Thompson's biting insight on the era portrayed in the film.

I could also cite how Peter Boyle was entirely wrong for the character he was playing and a number of other issues I had with this movie, but in a nutshell, the most glaring problem with "Where the Buffalo Roam" is that it takes some of Hunter S. Thompson's best and most insightful journalism, dumbs it down, and condenses it into a cockeyed, silly package that retains none of the power or message of its source material. This is the equivalent of Gonzo babyfood, good for a couple chuckles but little more. Stick with "Fear and Loathing" for your HST dose in film, Depp portrays a better Thompson, Del Toro is an infinitely better Zeta Acosta, and Gilliam as a directer just plain "gets it."
2006-11-11
No plot structure but Murray is a fantastic Thompson
I have been a fan of Thompson as a writer and person for at least ten years now and read most of his books and articles as well as a couple of books about him. Thompson's life- and writing style is, if anything, unique and a movie about him that features a structured and clear plot would go completely against what defined Thompson. Having said that I will admit that "Buffalo" seems fractured and does not have a definite beginning and ending, but Murray captures a lot of Thompson's mannerisms and the episodes the movie is composed around are all interesting and fun to watch. All in all I would say that the movie is a success as it keeps the audience entertained and adapts Thompson's writing style adequately. If you are interested in Thompson and like Bill Murray as an actor, "Buffalo" will be right up your alley and a comparison with Gilliam's "Fear and Loathing" is interesting, especially when you've already watched the real Thompson in one of the documentaries.
2012-02-14
The man vs. the myth.
Fist of all, as far as the comparison to Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas (1998) goes, these films are completely different beasts. Fear & Loathing is a adaptation of a fictional work based on real events. Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro are playing Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo, not Hunter S. Thompson and Oscar Zeta Acosta. They are playing caricatures of real people, indirect representations funneled through HST's imagination and exaggeration. Where The Buffalo Roam is more based in reality. Bill Murray is directly playing Hunter S. Thompson as he writes his writings, Johnny Depp played a character from his writings, there is a massive difference. And as such, in my opinion, both films succeed brilliantly. Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is a visually dazzling, imaginative, cinematic adaptation of HST's novel and Where The Buffalo Roam is a quirky, splendidly fun quasi-biographical journey and pure snapshot of life.

Bill Murray is fantastic in this film. His portrayal of HST is taken from life, more realistic, more from the man rather than from his text or the legend of HST. The whole film itself, mainly because of Murray's characterization and the realistic structured style of the abrupt interconnected randomness of everyday life, is infused with a undying sense of fun and love for words, imagination, writing, and the whole creative process, which seems to me to get more to the core of HST as a man than the various vignettes of Fear & Loathing.

Where The Buffalo Roam is wildly entertaining, frenziedly hilarious, and immeasurably fun. But when the general viewing audience, who presumably do not have a true passion for HST and his works, views both films and are given the choice between the legend and the man, they more often choose the legend, which is usually the trend in history.

Whereas Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas has a romance for the stories and the myth, Where The Buffalo has a romance for the man and the process, and both have it for his personal style, politics and priorities.
2004-05-12
True to the spirit of Thompson's work
Bill Murry had Thompson down pat IMHO. Wacky, sacreligious. Zany.....

Kept my interest..a definate must for a Hunter Thompson fan.

2001-09-09
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