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The Laramie Project (2002)

TV-14 | | Crime, Drama, History | TV Movie 9 March 2002
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The true story of an American town in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Director:

Moisés Kaufman

Writers:

Moisés Kaufman (play), Moisés Kaufman (screenplay) | 20 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Chalfant ... Anonymous Female Rancher
Laura Linney ... Sherry Johnson
Peter Fonda ... Doctor Cantway
Jeremy Davies ... Jedadiah Schultz
Nestor Carbonell ... Moisés Kaufman
Camryn Manheim ... Rebecca Hilliker
Andy Paris Andy Paris ... Stephen Belber
Grant Varjas ... Greg Pierotti (as Grant James Varjas)
Kelli Simpkins ... Leigh Fondakowski
Clea DuVall ... Amanda Gronich
Billie McBride Billie McBride ... Waitress
Bill Christ Bill Christ ... Man on the Porch
Frances Sternhagen ... Marge Murray
Regina Krueger Regina Krueger ... Alison Mears
Michael Emerson ... Reverend
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Storyline

Moisés Kaufman and members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard's visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of "Angels in America" a year after Shephard's death. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everyone Carries a Piece of the Truth. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | History

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Laramie Project See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the actual people and events connected to the tragic death of a young gay student Matthew Shepard who became the victim of a widespread homophobia back in October 1998. His death led to a global acceptance of LGBT population as equal citizens. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Doc O'Conner: I remembered something to myself. The night he and I drove around together, he said, 'Laramie sparkles, doesn't it?' And where he was in that spot up there, if you sit exactly in that spot up there, Laramie sparkles. With the low-lying clouds, it's - uh - it's the blue lights that bounce off the clouds. And it goes over the whole city. I mean, I mean, it blows you away. And Matt was right there in that spot. And I can just picture - in his eyes - what he was seeing. And the last ...
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Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: Otto, or Up with Dead People (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Dream in the Moonlight
Written by Raoul Walsh and Matty Malneck (as Matt Malnick)
Performed by Billie Holiday
Courtesy of Drive Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
A murder in Wyoming
2 November 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

A young gay man brutally killed by two young men trying to make a point about their hatred of homosexuals is the basis of Moises Kaufman's brilliant play seen here a few years ago. On the stage the play is somewhat detached because of the limitations in the text, but as a film, adapted for the screen by Mr. Kaufman, the immediacy of the story is more shocking than in the theater.

"The Laramie Project" is seen in a documentary fashion. The director and his assistants went to Laramie to investigate the incident that caused a world wide uproar because of the savage way Matthew Shepard's death had caused. In recreating the facts, Mr. Kaufman has dramatized the story by having real actors play the different people in town with whom he and his collaborators talked during the days of the research trip.

What comes out about the story is that individually, the citizens of Laramie were as shocked as everyone else was. After all, they considerer themselves as pretty tolerant, so why a horrible tragedy like this could ever happened amongst them? In fact, it only takes a pair of misguided individuals, who think thought they would make a statement by inflicting on the unsuspecting Matthew Shepard a punishment he didn't deserve.

The ensemble cast that play the different parts is an inspired choice. Mr. Kaufman was lucky in amassing such talent that respond so well to his commands. Steve Buscemi, Camryn Manhein, Laura Linney, Amy Madigan, Frances Sternhagen, Christina Ricci, Margo Martindale, Kathleen Chalfant, Terry Kinney, just to name a few, give excellent readings about what really occurred in Laramie.

Ultimately, Mr. Kaufman makes his point by just letting the citizens of Laramie come to terms with the horrible tragedy that shook their town.


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