Review: ‘Heart Beat’

Heart Beat never manages to expand its loosely biographical tale of Jack Kerouac, Neal and Carolyn Cassady beyond a very narrow scope.

Heart Beat never manages to expand its loosely biographical tale of Jack Kerouac, Neal and Carolyn Cassady beyond a very narrow scope.

Nick Nolte and Sissy Spacek, as the Cassadys enmeshed in a love-hate relationship, are standout in a film where performances dominate. Ditto Ray Sharkey, in a manic performance as a disguised Allen Ginsberg character. John Heard struggles manfully with the Kerouac character, but writer- director John Byrum has given him few compass points on which to base a reading.

Heat Beat fails to establish either a coherent story line, or a definitive treatment of the forces that shaped the literary and social explosion following publication of Kerouac’s On the Road in 1957.

Heart Beat

Production

Orion. Dir John Byrum; Producer Alan Greisman, Michael Shamberg; Screenplay John Byrum; Camera Laszlo Kovacs; Editor Eric Jenkins; Music Jack Nitzsche Art Dir Jack Fisk

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Nick Nolte Sissy Spacek John Heard Ray Sharkey Ann Dusenberry Tony Bill
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