God Bless America

God Bless America

Joel Murray in GOD BLESS AMERICA, a Magnet Release film by Bobcat Goldthwait. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing.

God Bless America

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* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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God Bless America (2011/2012)

Opened: 05/11/2012 Limited

TIFF09/09/2011 - 09/09/20111 day
TIFF09/11/2011 - 09/11/20111 day
TIFF09/16/2011 - 09/16/20111 day
On-Demand04/06/2012
Theaters05/11/2012
Sunshine Cinema05/11/2012 - 06/14/201235 days
Downtown Indep...05/11/2012 - 05/17/20127 days
DVD07/03/2012

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Facebook

Genre: Dark Comedy

Rated: R for for strong violence and language including some sexual sequences.

Synopsis

Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of American culture. Divorced, recently fired, and possibly terminally ill, Frank truly has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun and decides to take out his frustration on the cruelest, stupidest, most intolerant people he can imagine -- starting with some particularly odious reality television stars.

Frank finds an unusual accomplice in a high-school student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement. Together they embark on a nationwide assault on our country's most irritating celebrities . . .

Written and Directed by taboo-busting filmmaker and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie, World's Greatest Dad), GOD BLESS AMERICA is a truly dark and very funny comedy for anyone who's had enough of the dumbing down of our society.

Select Quotes

"Hilarious - The perfect concept for a black comedy - Sit back and enjoy the insanity." -- Alex Billington, First Showing.net

"Full of punchy energy and a sense of catharsis about getting away from all the stupid places pop culture can take us." -- Katey Rich, Cinema Blend

Select Festivals

  • Official Selection - 2011 Toronto Film Festival
  • Official Selection - 2012 SXSW Film Festival

Director's Statement

Some folks compare making a movie to giving birth to a child. There was a lot of blood and screaming while making GOD BLESS AMERICA so I guess that is true sometimes. Although a fable, this movie comes from a really sincere place for me.

It is about how America has become a cruel and vicious place, while asking the viewer, "Where are we going??" and "Are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem?" Or at least that is what I hope people take away from it. If not it's just a bloody Valentine to my wife where I get to shoot and kill a baby and a guy who acts a lot like Simon Cowell. I'm fine either way.

I'm so happy the movie is playing Midnight Madness at the Toronto Film Festival. I was inspired to make GOD BLESS AMERICA while watching A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE at Midnight Madness two years ago so I guess it's the circle of life and death.

If you see me up at the fest please come up and say "hi" and if you don't like my new baby just lie.

Word.

-- Bobcat

About the Cast

Joel Murray (Frank)

Joel Murray is the youngest of a family of nine from Wilmette, Illinois where he got his start doing local children's theatre and high school musicals. He did plays at Northern Illinois University and Loyola University of Chicago as well as performing with the Remains and the Organic Theatre Companies in Chicago. He was part of the group that started the I.O. (Improv Olympic) in Chicago and went on the work on stage for The Second City Theatre for five years.

Joel met Bobcat Goldthwait in 1985, when they both starred in ONE CRAZY SUMMER. Joel has also appeared in the films, SCROOGED, LONG GONE, SHAKES THE CLOWN, CABLE GUY, HATCH 1 and 2, and upcoming LAY THE FAVORITE and THE ARTIST.

He has been a series regular on the American situation comedies "Grand," "Pacific Station," "Love and War," "Dharma and Greg" and "Still Standing."

He has voiced numerous cartoons and commercials, enjoying an eleven-year stint as the voice of Chester the Cheetah for Cheetos. His voice will be part of the upcoming Pixar release Monsters University.

Joel writes and has directed various short films including THE ONE ABOUT THE NUN and THE PRIEST as well as the sit-coms "The Big Bang Theory," "Dharma and Greg" and "Still Standing." He wrote, directed and produced the short-lived golf comedy, "The Sweet Spot," for Comedy Central that starred himself and his brothers Brian, Bill and John.

Murray got to make a dramatic turn with the role of Freddy Rumsen on AMC's "Mad Men" and again last year on Showtime's "Shameless."

In his free time, Joel coaches football, baseball and basketball.

The role of Frank Murdoch in GOD BLESS AMERICA is the most fun he has ever had...except maybe being paid to golf with his brothers in Jamaica.

Tara Lynne Barr (Roxy)

As the children of working parents, Tara and her older sister, Erin, began their association with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley in Southern California's Orange County at very young ages for before and after-school care. When the Huntington Valley Boys and Girls Clubs started their Clubhouse Theatre program, Erin was quick to sign up. After watching her big sister perform, Tara caught the acting bug.

In 2001, when she was just seven, Tara auditioned for the Clubhouse Theatre production of Toy Camp. She was cast in the role of "Ted E. Bear," and her acting career began. Over the next three years, Tara performed in ten children's theater productions, and declared at age nine that she needed an agent so she could move on to film and television projects. The theater remains one of her passions.

After performing non-stop in local children's theater productions, at age nine she informed her parents that she needed an agent so she could move on to film and television work.

Since then, Tara's diverse resume reflects her focus on a lasting career. Her television credits include a dramatic turn on NBC's "Crossing Jordan;" a variety of comedic appearances for Disney and Nickelodeon, as well as a stint as the host of Encore Channel's "Fear Fest: 31 Nights of Horror." She has appeared in national and international commercials, has voiced characters for popular video games, and continues to perform on stage whenever time permits.

About the Filmmakers

Bobcat Goldthwait (Writer / Director)

Born in the outskirts of Hollywood (Syracuse, New York) in 1962, Bobcat Goldthwait wrote and directed his first film SHAKES THE CLOWN in 1991. A dark cult comedy, SHAKES was heralded by the Boston Globe as the 'Citizen Cane of Alcoholic clown movies,' and lays claim to such fans as Martin Scorsese and Michael Stipe -- in fact, the REM song "Binky the Doormat" was based on a line from SHAKES THE CLOWN.

Goldthwait's next movie WINDY CITY HEAT appeared in the Cine Vegas Film Festival in 2004, and won Best Film at the Montreal Comedy Festival that year. Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park) has called WINDY CITY HEAT, "beyond genius" and Vice Magazine called it, "quite simply the greatest movie of all time."

SLEEPING DOGS LIE marked Bobcat's third feature film as a director. Written by Goldthwait, and financed by friends and pawn shops, the movie was shot entirely during a two week hiatus from his job directing JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE (2004-2006). It was chosen to compete in Sundance's 2006 Dramatic competition, and was also in the London, Toronto, and San Sebastian Film Festivals. SLEEPING DOGS LIE is Goldthwait's best reviewed work to date, and was hailed as "earnest and improbably moving" by Esquire Magazine and "demonically funny and surprisingly sweet" by Rolling Stone. Bobcat credits his failure to appear in the film as a good part of its success.

WORLD'S GREATEST DAD stars longtime friend Robin Williams, and was again made independently from the studio system (although this time Process and Darko Entertainment came on board and prevented any pawn shops from having to be involved). Shooting again with a cast made up primarily of close friends, WORLD'S GREATEST DAD was completed in Fall 2008 and premiered at the Sundance in January 2009. Glenn Whipp from the Chicago Tribune said, "WORLD'S GREATEST DAD proves unexpectedly moving in its portrait of a middle-age man leaving childish things behind."

Bobcat has directed for many television shows including Chappelle's Show, the "Man Show," and "Crank Yankers." As a comic, he has had three HBO specials and appeared on the David Letterman show by the time he was 20. As an actor he has appeared in an innumerable slew of movies and was huge in the 1980s, all of which has allowed him to live in an impossibly luxurious rental home in the Los Angeles area. He has a new upcoming Showtime special. Yet, everyone knows Bobcat is really best known for his ability to make all women swoon over his piercing blue eyes.

Darko Entertainment (Producers)

Darko Entertainment was launched in late 2007 by writer/director Richard Kelly, his producing partner Sean McKittrick and financier Ted Hamm along with Jeff Culotta. Kelly and McKittrick solidified their relationship with Hamm on Kelly's second feature, the sci-fi comedy, SOUTHLAND TALES where Hamm was an Executive Producer.

Based in Los Angeles, Darko finances modestly budgeted director driven films. Their goal is to support filmmakers with a unique voice and bring Darko's brand to helping independent films reach a wider audience.

Among Darko's upcoming projects is the screen version of the bestselling PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, which centers around the timeless story of Elizabeth Bennet's quest for love and independence amidst a menace of zombies.

Darko's most recent projects include producing and financing the following films: Bobcat Goldthwait's critically acclaimed dark comedy, WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, starring Robin Williams; and the film version of Tucker Max's bestseller, I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL, starring Matt Czuchry, Jesse Bradford and Geoff Stults.

Kelly and McKittrick first paired on Kelly's short film, VISCERAL MATTER, in 1997. That partnership generated Kelly's feature writing and directorial debut DONNIE DARKO, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and went on to achieve international cult status. It earned three Independent Spirit Award nominations, including two for Kelly for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay, and one for Best Male Lead (Jake Gyllenhaal).

 

Trailer