Grand Theft Parsons

Watch Grand Theft Parsons

"It's better to burn out than to fade away."
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 6.0  (3,697)
  • 46

"Grand Theft Parsons" is a 2003 biographical comedy-drama film directed by David Caffrey and starring Johnny Knoxville, Christina Applegate, and Marley Shelton. The story follows the final days of Gram Parsons, a country rock musician and former member of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, as his best friend, Phil Kaufman, attempts to fulfill Parsons' wish of being cremated in the desert.

The film begins with Parsons (played by Gabriel Macht) visiting Joshua Tree National Park with his girlfriend, Barbara (Shelton). He discusses his desire to be cremated in the park after he dies, according to his wishes. Shortly after this, Parsons dies suddenly from a drug overdose, and his manager, who hopes to gain control of his estate, intercepts the body before it can be cremated.

Kaufman (Knoxville), Parsons’ close friend and personal roadie, is devastated by Parsons' death and his manager's plan to bury him in a traditional cemetery. Kaufman takes it upon himself to ensure Parsons' final wishes are fulfilled and hatches a plan to steal Parsons' body and cremate it in the desert.

Kaufman and his girlfriend, Barbara (Applegate), make their way across the country with Parsons' body in the back of their hearse, encountering various obstacles along the way. Meanwhile, Parsons' former bandmates and colleagues mourn his loss and begin to question the circumstances surrounding his death.

The film is a unique blend of genres, combining elements of comedy, drama, road trip, and music biopic. The performances by the leading actors are all excellent, particularly Knoxville in his first dramatic role. Applegate also shines as Kaufman's feisty and loyal girlfriend.

The film's soundtrack features several of Parsons’ songs, as well as covers by other artists, and effectively captures the spirit of his music. The cinematography captures the beauty of the desert landscape and effectively conveys the freedom and independence that Kaufman and Parsons both valued.

Overall, "Grand Theft Parsons" is a touching and humorous tribute to a legendary musician and his unconventional quest to be reunited with the land he loved. It offers an entertaining glimpse into the life of Gram Parsons and his circle of friends and collaborators, and is a must-see for fans of his music and those who appreciate offbeat road trip films.

Grand Theft Parsons is a 2003 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 46.

Grand Theft Parsons
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (3,697)
  • Metascore