Framing John DeLorean (2019) Poster

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dreams and nightmares
ferguson-66 June 2019
Greetings again from the darkness. Hollywood is known for taking a real life person or event, embellishing the details, twisting the facts, and creating a fictionalized version meant to shock ... or at least entertain. John DeLorean lived a life that made it almost too easy for Hollywood, yet numerous attempts at a biopic have stalled over the years. Co-directors Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce were there to pick up the pieces and deliver a documentary with dramatized reenactments of actual (and hypothetical) moments. Co-writers Dan Greeney and Alexandra Orton assist with a cinematic version likely to cause those who recall actual events to marvel at the full story, and those too young to remember will likely find it difficult to believe ... or perhaps, sadly, all too believable!

The film provides the backstory where John DeLorean was a talented engineer at General Motors and became a star on the rise within what at the time was the world's largest corporation. Turning around GM's flailing Pontiac division by introducing the GTO as a muscle car, DeLorean's success was a mixture of technical knowledge, marketing savvy, risk-taking, swagger, and ambition. Despite his actions leading directly to higher profits and large executive bonus checks, the stodgy old school regime forced him out in 1973. DeLorean, seen as a swashbuckling rebel, started his own company, De Lorean Motor Company, with the unusual stated goal of mass producing exotic sports cars made of stainless steel.

The dramatizations and reenactments involve Alec Baldwin as DeLorean, Morena Baccarin as his (third) wife, supermodel Cristina Ferrare, and Josh Charles as Bill Collins, the chief engineer he 'stole' from GM. We even get a behind the scenes look as Baldwin discusses the role from the makeup chair, and Ms. Baccarin is interviewed on how she viewed Ms. Ferrare. These dramatizations cover possible conversations between DeLorean and Collins, as well as home life with Ms. Ferrare and the kids, and are more distraction than help.

More effective than these "what if" segments, are the actual interviews with the real Bill Collins, as well as others who were involved at the time. Unfortunately, we only see the actual Ms. Ferrare in clips, as she understandably wouldn't want to be relive this part of her life. However, their kids, Zach and Kathryn, are interviewed on camera. Both are quite forthcoming with their thoughts, recollections, and the impact of growing up as DeLoreans' kids. Zach carries his hostility on his sleeve, while Kathryn offers a bit more reticence. Both reactions are understandable, and 'the car vs the dad' discussions are fascinating ... and these interviews are the film's high points.

Opening with FBI footage of DeLorean's lie detector test administered in 1983, possibly the most interesting aspect from an overall perspective is the contrast between his trial for drug trafficking and his later trial for embezzlement. Despite his being a truly desperate man when he agreed to the drug deal, it seems quite obvious - as the jury found - that DeLorean was a victim of FBI entrapment (possibly the first time many of us had heard the word). In the aftermath of what was a media circus not dissimilar to OJ's trial, we do hear from both defense attorney Howard Weitzman and prosecutor Robert Perry as to how each viewed the case. However, the shell company in Geneva and the aspects to his embezzlement lead us to believe DeLorean's character was truly compromised - or possibly revealed.

From a business viewpoint, it was quite interesting to learn that DMC (De Lorean Motor Company) ended up being based in Belfast, Northern Ireland (a great trivia question) due to 30% unemployment and the large government subsidies meant to stimulate an economy in the dumps. The lack of infrastructure and a workforce with no automobile experience led to quality issues that were simply too great to overcome ...especially when combined with other issues on Planet DeLorean.

John DeLorean led a flamboyant life and experienced a very public fall from grace. Screenwriter Bob Gale explains how the DeLorean car was chosen for the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy, and how a letter from DeLorean showed how much he still enjoyed the spotlight. Was DeLorean a renegade visionary or a con man? Was he a victim or a cut-throat businessman? Whatever your thoughts, he's a textbook example of how the American Dream can come true, and still be followed by one's worst nightmare. Sometimes there is no need to print the legend ... fact will do just fine.
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Filled a void and entertained...really fun.
jaspen-5138416 May 2019
I was fortunate enough to see this before it officially premiered and absolutely loved it. It was such a fun movie. The movie and story entertain in their own right, for sure, and even better, filled the void of my childhood ignorance with the story of what all the fuss was about back then.
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Wasted opportunity, more like a fake advert for a movie than a documentary.
yavoyavo27 June 2019
For some reason they felt the need to insert Alec Baldwin for dramatizations, padding out the story instead of going into any depth it felt like a promo for a movie instead of a documentary.
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Famous man becomes a bore
cekadah30 June 2019
I wish this movie had not been an hour and fifty minutes long! The last fifty minutes becomes boring because it is easy for the viewer to see where the story leads.

Plus the dramatic acting adds nothing to the historical facts in this mans life. If you don't know who John DeLorean was this movie may be informative but still this movie is just too long because, as stated above, you can see the sorry end way in advance.
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Tough to watch the DEA frame him...
townie126625 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is terrible to watch, some scumbag dealer who went fishing after a desperate businessman to get out of a jail sentence!!!! SICKENING!!!!
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The Tumultuous Life of John DeLorean
larrys33 October 2019
Combination of documentary and docudrama (with Alec Baldwin portraying DeLorean in the re-enactments), depicting the tumultuous life of John DeLorean.

The enigmatic and chameleon-like persona of DeLorean comes through on the screen as he moves from GM rising star, to establishing his own auto company featuring the DeLorean (forever etched in history in the classic film "Back to the Future"), which would have plans to mass produce the sports car in Northern Ireland.

We also see, when his company was under severe financial distress how DeLorean turned to raising quick cash with an illicit drug deal. However, the deal became part of an FBI sting, leading to his arrest and one of the most watched trials of the twentieth century.

The movie will also take the time to illustrate the effects of DeLorean's checkered life on his family and later the cost to himself as well. All in all, I thought the film was a well documented and interesting look a man who will forever hold a place in American history.
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oldvinyl8 September 2019
There were elements of this where I expected a lot more -- for instance the car factory barely gets a mention. The whole thing needed compressing to about a quarter of its length, it seemed to go on forever.
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The rise and fall of...
engrwip16 July 2019
A tightly-edited, fast-moving documentary tracking DeLorean's rise and fall in the hyper-competitive world of auto manufacturing, this movie tells a story that resonates in today's world. How did he rise to become a rock star within GM? Why did he leave at the peak of his career? How much did he and his new company accomplish in record-setting time before the venture ended? And what were the consequences of his quest? We very much enjoyed learning the insights shared by those who were there at the time as well as those of the historians. Alec B. brings a special connection into play and it all works well! Care to compare and contrast John D. with today's mavericks/entreprenuers in the business world? And understand how such people affect everybody around them? Then you'll need to watch this movie first.
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Finding the Best Lawyers to Hide the Greed
westsideschl14 October 2019
If you're not totally familiar w/this story from older docs, news, etc. then the doc part of this docudrama more than adequately will fill you in on this remarkable swing from creative genius? (decades ahead of his time) to criminal activities and finally how his life ended up. Good actual footage & family interviews make it real & personable. The dramatic part was OK, but to me didn't add that much. DeLorean could have used some advice from current wealthy politicians on which lawyers to hire who would know best how to hide the greed (e.g. overseas).
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Great Flick- Really Enjoyed
I love the docudrama style, mixing real life video with actors.. I thought made for a very interesting movie...
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