Blu-ray, DVD Release: The American Dreamer

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 22, 2015
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $32.98
Studio: Etiquette Pictures

Etiquette Pictures (EP), launched in July, in partnership with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Bond 360 Studios in New York City will release 1971’s The American Dreamer, a quasi-documentary portrait of the pathologically rebellious Dennis Hopper (Blue Velvet).

In 1970, actor/director Hopper, who catapulted into stardom with his 1969 counterculture road movie, Easy Rider, was in the midst of finishing his follow-up work, the deeply personal but ultimately disastrous film The Last Movie. That moment in time became the window through which noted photojournalist Lawrence Schiller and avant-garde filmmaker L.M. Kit Carson entered to preserve Hopper’s life, who in their opinion had submerged himself in the myth of his character in Easy Rider.

Dennis Hopper goes to the gun in The American Dreamer

Dennis Hopper goes to the gun in The American Dreamer

The American Dreamer chronicles the late artist’s agonizing, alcohol-and-drug-fueled post-production of The Last Movie. The result of Schiller and Carson’s work is a multi-faceted look at the unique mind and strange life of Hopper at the peak of his artistic and commercial success.

The film was first released on college campuses back in the ’70s and then largely vanished. In the 1990s, Hopper himself brought the film back to life when he asked for it to be screened as a companion piece to The Last Movie at film festivals and art houses.

Considered to be one of the more notable “lost films” of the Seventies, The American Dreamer makes its official home video debut in a new, director-approved, 2k restoration, reconstructed from four 16mm prints housed in the Walker Center’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection.

A portion of the proceeds from this release will directly benefit the ongoing cinema preservation efforts at the Center.

Special features on the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack include Fighting Against the Wind making-of featurette, A Long Way Home preservation featurette, a photo gallery, a booklet and essay by film historian Chris Poggiali and features a reversible cover.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.