'Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself'

A fond look back at a groundbreaking media celebrity and man of letters, "Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself" is an entertaining profile of the self-avowed participatory journalist and his tumultuous life and times.

A fond look back at a groundbreaking media celebrity and man of letters, “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself” is an entertaining profile of the self-avowed participatory journalist and his tumultuous life and times. Stuffed to the gills with media types and literary lions from the middle of the past century, this is as much time capsule as film, and will appeal to anyone who subscribed — or still does — to Plimpton’s Paris Review, and harbors fond memories of his one-off stunts.

Born into a successful and well-connected family — Robert F. Kennedy was a lifelong friend, and Plimpton was at his side when Kennedy was shot — he edited the Paris Review before deciding to try professional sports and relate the amateur experience. The apogee of this career-long caprice came when he parlayed a few exhibition-game downs as quarterback for the Detroit club into the best-selling tome “Paper Lion.” It’s all here, strung together with pep and insight by helmers Tom Bean and Luke Poling. Tech package creates a visually pleasing whole from wildly disparate elements, with Mark Degli Antoni’s guitar-based score providing a peppy thrum commensurate with a life fully lived.

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

Production

A Joyce Entertainment, the Offices of Spectre presentation of the Last Gentleman production in association with Joyce Entertainment. Produced by Terry McDonell, Adam Roffman. Executive producers, Dennis Joyce, Phyllis Alexander, Kris Meyer, Antonio Weiss, Susannah Weiss, William R. Hearst III, Toby Barlow, Bill Deacon. Directed, written by Tom Bean, Luke Poling.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, various formats) Bean, Poling; editors, Casey Brooks, Maya Hawke; music, Mark Degli Antoni; sound designer, Michael Anastasi. Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, June 25, 2012. (In SilverDocs Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 89 MIN.

With

George Plimpton, Peter Matthiessen, Sarah Dudley Plimpton, Robert Kennedy Jr., Hugh Hefner, Gay Talese, Lewis Lapham, Medora Plimpton, Taylor Plimpton, Freddy Plimpton, Oakes Plimpton, Sarah Gay Plimpton.

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