Almost Famous


Cast: Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee,  Patrick Fugit, Anna Paquin, Fairuza Balk, Noah Taylor and Philip Seymour Hoffman

Crew: Written & Directed By: Cameron Crowe Produced by: Lisa Stewart Co-Producer: Cameron Crowe & Ian Bryce DP: John Toll Editors: Joe Hutshing & Saar Kelin Costume Designer: Betsy Heimann Score By: Nancy Wilson Music Supervisor: Danny Bramson

Theatrical Release Date:

  • September 8, 2000 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • September 13, 2000 (North America)

DVD Release: March 13, 2001
Untitled DVD Release: December 4, 2001
Blu-ray Release Date: January 30, 2011

Tidbits:

  • The roles of Russell Hammond and Penny Lane were originally offered to Brad Pitt and Sarah Polley, respectively. Pitt left the project because he didn’t feel he understood the character, while Polley couldn’t commit because of other projects.
  • Here’s Sarah Polley’s comments from Total Film Magazine: “I’m not Kate Hudson, I’m not like this beautiful movie star who walks in a room and every guy feels weak at the knees and stuff. But you know I think that’s only a testament to me that I knew that and dropped out and let Kate Hudson do that! I was the wrong person for the part. I just thought, I’m just not this person, I could never be this person, I could never be like this beautiful movie star who’s completely charismatic, who the audience falls in love with, who all the guys in the story fall in love with. And when I saw the film, I thought I did the right thing – she’s fantastic in it. She’s totally perfect for it.”
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (Lester Bangs) was available only for four days of shooting. During all four days, the actor was nursing a bad cold.
  • Photographers Joel Bernstein, Neal Preston and Jim Marshall were used to find shots from the era. A few of Bernstein’s photos that he used for Neil Young’s album jackets were re-created almost exactly for the movie. These include the gatefold image of Young and his fellow musicians from After the Gold Rush, and the crowd shot from the live album Time Fades Away.
  • Some scenes were shot at Los Angeles’ historic Ambassador Hotel. Since opening in 1921, the hotel has always been closely tied to Hollywood. Joan Crawford, Merv Griffin and Bing Crosby were discovered at the grounds’ ever-popular Cocoanut Grove nightclub. It was also the infamous site of Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968.The memorable scene in The Graduate where Benjamin meets Mrs. Robinson in a hotel was filmed in the Ambassador’s lobby. The hotel’s last guests checked out in 1989.
  • In the scene where the tour plane hits turbulence, Russell starts to sing “Peggy Sue.” This is in reference to Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash while on tour.
  • During the opening credits, the hand that’s writing on the notepad belongs to Cameron.
  • Here’s the list of LP’s young William flips through (in order): the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds; Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills; Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Cream’s Wheels of FireCrosby, Stills and Nash; Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde; Simon and Garfunkel’s BookendsThe Who Sell OutJFK Memorial Album; the Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed; Jethro Tull’s Stand Up; the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Axis: Bold as Love; the Supremes’ Greatest Hits; and the Who’s Tommy.
  • Almost Famous had its world premiere at the 25th Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2000.
  • Almost Famous also opened up the 44th London Film Festival on November 1, 2000.
  • Penny Lane is based on many groupies or “band aids” that Cameron got to know during the ’70s, but the main inspiration is a Pennie Trumbull. You can check out her official site here.
  • Patrick Fugit, grew three inches during filming, resulting in multiple costume refits. Near the end of filming, costar Billy Crudup had to wear platform shoes to ensure continuity. Fugit’s voice also changed during the film’s shoot.
  • Crowe promised Eric Stoltz a role in all of his films, but he is nowhere to be found in Almost Famous. “We broke the streak,” says a chagrined Crowe. “We couldn’t quite find the right part. I wanted him to be Bowie. I thought that would be great. But I got the word back that I was going in the wrong direction, size-of-part wise.” A marquee that would appear when the band’s bus came into Cleveland would read: “Coming Aug. 9, Miles Davis. Coming Aug. 10, Gram Parsons. Coming Aug. 11, The Crazy World of Eric Stoltz.” “I figured no matter what happens, Eric’s in. But we spent too long shooting the “Tiny Dancer” sing-along scene. And I lost the marquee shot.”
  • Cameron said this to Spin back in August 2001: “Pearl Jam would get together in a circle before they went onstage and Eddie pulled me into the circle before one of their Lollapalooza shows. I put that in Almost Famous, even though it actually happened 20 years later.”
  • Alice Crowe (Cameron’s mom) appears in the graduation scene as a teacher handing out diplomas.
  • Rolling Stone chief Jann Wenner makes a cameo appearance as the man William sees in the taxi.
  • Here’s a nice breakdown of the script (along with Cameron’s comments) where William eats lunch with Lester (courtesy of EW):