Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Runnin' Down a Dream

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Arts Documentary published by Sundance Channel in 2007 - English narration

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Image: Tom-Petty-and-the-Heartbreakers-Runnin-Down-a-Dream-Cover.jpg

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Runnin' Down A Dream : Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - A Film by Peter Bogdanovich

A Penn/Bright Entertainment Production 2007

Four hour Director's cut of famed Peter Bogdanovich's Runnin' Down a Dream. This movie contains hours of never before seen footage and interviews with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers plus music from the storied rock band's entire career. The movie features interviews with George Harrison, Eddie Vedder, Stevie Nicks, Dave Grohl, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Johnny Depp, Jackson Browne and more. Also 1 DVD of the celebrated 30th Anniversary Concert in Heartbreaker hometown, Gainesville Florida

Tom Petty is the Ralph Nader of rock & roll, a true consumer advocate. And his Heartbreakers – Mike Campbell (guitar), Benmont Tench (keys), Ron Blair (bass), Steve Ferrone (drums), and multi-instrumentalist Scott Thurston – have withstood more than most could stomach. Director Peter Bogdanovich brings in his best work since 1972 Oscar winner Paper Moon: the four-hour-plus Runnin' Down a Dream, oral history of an American band for the ages, from Petty's childhood to last year's 30th anniversary tour. Comprehensive is an understatement given candid interviews with Heartbreakers past and present; producers Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne, and Rick Rubin; and celebrity superfans. The Traveling Wilburys in session – Petty, Roy Orbison, Lynne, Bob Dylan, and George Harrison in a candy shop – live shots, and numerous videos propel this Dream. The four-disc set comprises the 2-DVD documentary, 2006's homecoming concert in Gainesville, Fla., and an unreleased soundtrack (a Saturday Night Live performance with Dave Grohl on drums, Top of the Pops in 1977, and Hank Williams' "Lost Highway"). "I don't really understand it," admits Petty of his songwriting, "but I do know that the best ones often just appear. You're sitting there with your guitar or the piano, and bang! There it is. It just falls out of the sky. ... It's a spiritual thing."

- After over 30 years of performing, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have earned themselves 16 Grammy nominations and sold more than 50 million recordings worldwide. It’s no surprise then that their story would make for an interesting documentary. But under the careful eye of director Peter Bogdanovich, much more than just an “interesting documentary” has been created. Runnin’ Down a Dream: Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, is a monumental four-hour exploration of one of the most infamous bands in the industry.

Featuring a massive amount of archival footage and music as well as interviews with Johnny Depp (who appeared in the seven-and-a-half-minute music video for “Into the Great Wide Open”), Eddie Vedder (who idolized Tom Petty and has performed live with the band), Stevie Nicks (who worked extensively with Petty and often remarked that she would “leave Fleetwood Mac to play with the Heartbreakers”), George Harrison (who played with Petty as part of the Traveling Wilburys), Dave Grohl (who played drums with the band on Saturday Night Live) and numerous other friends, musicians and producers (including all the band members and Petty himself), Runnin’ Down a Dream makes good use of its four-hour running time.

Starting with Petty’s humble beginnings in Gainesville, Florida as a music-obsesed grade-schooler, Bogdanovich goes on to examine the formation of Mudcrutch, Petty’s first band, and their rise to fame in Gainesville, which sent them to Los Angeles seeking a record deal. Watching archival family videos and home movies accompanied by Tom Petty’s authoritative drawl immediately gives the film a grounded sense of authority and realism. This is no E! True Hollywood Story special, this is visual historical documentation of a musical legend.

Over the course of the documentary, Petty’s rebel attitude and dedication to his music and his band is revealed, as well as his determination to make it on his own terms. His revolutionary showdown with MCA Records and his refusal to allow the record company to raise the price of his album simply to make profits shows a side of Petty that make it clear why he syas the song “I Won’t Back Down” most captures his true spirit.

Even those who know a good deal about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are sure to find plenty of new information here. From the various members of the band (drummers and bass players) to the Bob Dylan tour to the side projects of Petty himself (Traveling Wilburys and his solo album) there’s more than enough to explore and Bogdanovich makes use of it all. By the time the documentary has ended, it can be assured that anyone who can say with a straight face that Tom Petty isn’t a living legend just wasn’t paying attention.

Sundance Channel aired the world television premiere of the documentary on October 29th after the film premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 14th. - by Zach Freeman in All News ; Movie Reviews 2007

Reviews :

- Although four hours seems like a long time for a documentary on Tom Petty, left, and the Heartbreakers, "Runnin' Down a Dream" doesn't seem the slightest bit fat or indulgent, and it's loaded with an astonishing amount of great music - enough to surprise even longtime fans. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who began his career with a highly regarded documentary about director John Ford, the film benefits immensely from extensive home-movie archives that capture the band's earliest days in intimate detail. All the principals talk - Petty comes off as a decent, no-bull guy as amazed by his success as any of us are - but it is the performance footage that lights up the screen. They treat potentially delicate issues, such as the firing of longtime drummer Stan Lynch and the heroin overdose death of bassist Howie Epstein, without flinching. Perhaps because he is a down-to-earth guy, Petty may have been underrated over the years, but the sheer quantity of good music packed into the two-disc film is staggering - from the beginnings as a band called Mudcrutch to the 2006 30th anniversary concert at Gainesville, Fla., which is included in its entirety on a third disc (a fourth disc contains an audio CD of previously unreleased nuggets from the documentary's soundtrack). "Runnin' Down a Dream" rocks so hard, the four spellbinding hours just fly by. Don't miss this. - Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle 2007

- This FOUR HOUR documentary is a must for all Tom Petty fans and honestly anyone weaned on late '70s early '80s Rock 'n' Roll. Spanning Petty's humble beginnings in Gainesville, Florida to the launch of his career in California to his battles with record labels and sleazy lawyers and his ultimate triumph, the documentary finally shows us Petty at the top of the rock heap alongside Jeff Lynn, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, the quintessential independent rocker/ musician/ songwriter. Shows Petty to be the ultimate self-sufficient iconoclast. Bogdanovich shares old reels of Petty's first band Mudcrutch and we see the evolution of a young idealistic kid with a chip on his shoulder transform (over a 30 year period) into a bona fide rock legend. Saw this on Sundance channel and bought the four disc box set which includes a soundtrack CD and the 30th anniversary concert in Gainesville. This documentary is overflowing with interviews, clips, personalities, history and a catalog of live performances. Worth every penny. Worth every second. -

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • for part 1:
  • Video Codec: x264 AVC
  • Video Bitrate: 1 229 KB/s
  • Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Video Resolution: 720 x 400
  • Audio Codec: (Dolby AC3)
  • Audio Bitrate: 192 Kb/s 48000Hz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 2h 16mn
  • Framerate: 29.970FPS
  • Number of Parts: 3
  • Part Size: 1.38 GiB
  • Ripped by DocFreak08

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