Grand Theft Parsons

2004

Grand Theft Parsons

Critics Consensus

Grand Theft Parsons pays tribute to a rock legend without following biopic formula -- and proves that a unique perspective doesn't always mean a worthwhile film.

46%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,174
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Grand Theft Parsons Photos

Movie Info

One man goes above and beyond the call of duty (and possibly the limits of the law) to give a good friend the final send-off he wanted in this comedy drama, which was inspired by a true story. Phil Kaufman (Johnny Knoxville) is a self-described "road mangler" and "executive nanny" who minds the day-to-day business of a number of rock musicians, including the man he considers his best friend, country rock pioneer Gram Parsons (Gabriel Macht). Kaufman and Parsons share a deep love of the strangely beautiful deserts of California's Joshua Tree Park, and the two made a solemn pledge that whichever man outlived the other would take his dead friend's remains to Joshua Tree and release his spirit by setting fire to the body. When Kaufman gets word that Parsons has died of a drug overdose, he hops on his motorcycle to make good on his promise, but it doesn't take long for matters to get complicated -- Barbara Mansfield (Christina Applegate), one of Gram's many ex-girlfriends, arrives claiming to have a will declaring her the heir to his estate, and she isn't about to let Kaufman get in her way, while Stanley Parsons (Robert Forster), Gram's father, simply wants to pick up his son's body and take him back to New Orleans for burial. Not about to go back on his word, Kaufman has to scramble to claim Gram's body, and is forced to enlist the aid of Larry Oster-Berg (Michael Shannon), a slightly scrambled hippie who owns a hearse. Grand Theft Parsons features a cameo appearance from the real Phil Kaufman, whose autobiography Road Mangler Deluxe provided the basis for the screenplay.

Cast

Johnny Knoxville
as Phil Kaufman
Michael Shannon
as Larry Oster-Berg
Robert Forster
as Stanley Parsons
Gabriel Macht
as Gram Parsons
Jamie McShane
as Radio Announcer
Danielle Sapia
as Girl at Inn
Sara Arrington
as Crying Girl
Scott Adsit
as Music Expert
David Caffrey
as TV Interviewer
Alexa Motley
as Nurse 2
Jim Cody Williams
as Truck Driver
Kay E. Kuter
as Undertaker
Brian Nahas
as Bank Manager
Simone Hammond
as Check-In Girl
Betsy Rosenfeld
as Girl in Line
Jonathan Slavin
as Mortuary Clerk
Mike Randleman
as P.J. Gambrell
Karen Teliha
as Official
Rich Reilly
as Plane Passenger
Carol Kaufman
as Plane Passenger
Clint Culp
as Uniform Cop
Betty Carvalho
as Melon Lady
Paul Goebel
as Gas Station Attendant
Michael Gregory
as Motorcycle Cop
Tom McCleister
as Polyonax Place Barman
Dylan Bruno
as Traffic Cop
Phil Kaufman
as Handcuffed Felon
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Critic Reviews for Grand Theft Parsons

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (15)

  • Shannon does a great turn as the archetypal failed hippy idealist... and while the rest of the cast are sterling rather than shining, the script and David Caffrey's tyro direction are tight enough to pull the whole vehicle along.

    Jan 9, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Inspired by a true story, pic travels down familiar genre highways, but quirky humor and an apt soundtrack make for a pleasant enough journey.

    Jun 29, 2004
  • What could have served as a colorful episode in a more expansive film about the famed singer has instead become the premise of a mildly entertaining but overextended road movie that doesn't succeed on either dramatic or comedic terms.

    Jun 29, 2004
  • The Phil-Larry dynamic makes up most of the movie and the strain of turning an anecdote into an demi-epic can be felt throughout the movie.

    Jun 19, 2004 | Rating: 2/4

    John Anderson

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Gram Parsons' last rites were among the most extraordinary in rock history. Too bad this retelling of the singer's final adventure is so tame.

    Jun 18, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • A ho-hum, meandering road movie, albeit with an extremely cool soundtrack.

    Jun 18, 2004 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for Grand Theft Parsons

  • Nov 19, 2006
    This should've been a great movie but it turned out to be so boing.
    Michael G Super Reviewer

Grand Theft Parsons Quotes

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