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Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers: Dead or Alive
Johnny Thunders The Heartbreakers Dead or Alive
Actor: Johnny Thunders
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2001     0hr 58min

This 58 minute DVD videotape features the legendary Thunders, live; his only concert film available. Backed by the Heartbreakers (including Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls), this film captures the essence of the New Yor...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Johnny Thunders
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Other Music
Studio: Cherry Red
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/20/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2000
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 0hr 58min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An Acquired but Worthwhile Taste
Edward D. Terhune | Basking Ridge, NJ United States | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For the uninitiated, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers aren't everyone's cup of tea, or glass of beer. At his worst, John could be awful, looking and sounding like a wasted Ratso Rizzo. Watching or listening to him perform strung-out or, worse, stoned was voyeurism of the saddest and most guilt-inspiring kind, a witnessing of another human being's drug-induced self-destruction. John's addictions in time became a self-fulfilling freak show, a frequently tiresome routine and shtick, and as depressingly infamous as Iggy's self-mutilation during the legendary Stooges days. And yet, at his best, his music was magical and transcendent. His best songs are like finding nuggets of pure gold in a vast musical wasteland of sediment, particularly when one considers the truly insipid nature of what passes for rock music these days. Does this collection represent John and the boys at their most lucid, inspired best? Probably not, but it does include the greatest version of "So Alone" I've ever heard. Walter Lure's guitar has never sounded more hauntingly effective and Johnny's junkie stream-of-conscious monologue is chillingly-rendered and powerful. I loved the Dolls, and I loved the Heartbreakers, and I still do. John may be gone, but for those who appreciate the kind of visceral, vibrant music no one seems capable of making anymore, he will never be forgotten. A maudlin thought, perhaps, but true nonetheless."
The best live Thunders video period
wolfman41 | Campbellsville, KY United States | 08/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm a huge Thunders fan, though I'll admit I came a bit late. I bought this DVD despite the mediocre reviews listed below. Man was I suprised. The quality is exceptional and Johnny actually performs about two-thirds of the show very well. The drink starts to get to him about half way through. Near the end he probably didn't even realize he was on stage. Of course, Walter Lure, Billy Rath and Jerry Nolan are top-notch. So give this a try. It's got a full video interview with thunders, before and after gig scenes, preview of a thunders doc, clips from a French flick thunders was in and more. A MUST HAVE!!!!!!"
Could be great, but the overdubs ruin it
T. J. Segrest | Birmingham, AL USA | 06/23/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"If this is, as the label proclaims, the "only film available of Thunders in concert," then it's definitely worth owning for that reason alone. And if the producers had left the original audio intact, this would get at least 4 stars. But the overdubs are just terrible, and completely unnecessary. The footage is most impressive for showing just how far gone Thunders was by this time, and I just don't see the point in trying to "clean it up" with overdubs, especially when they are this obvious and poorly done. There are several times when Walter Lure and Johnny are just wandering onstage noodling on their guitars, and the overdubbed Johnny is still singing - what a joke! If they would re-release this show minus the overdubs - and the unnecessary splices of the airport security guard playing with Johnny's earring - this would be a must-own."